Official corporate Twitter feeds are generally boring affairs. Unless you’re really into the product or service mentioned and need to know immediately when something new happens there’s not much entertainment in them – certainly not anything that would move you.
So Japanese Twitter users were taken aback by a surprisingly heartfelt and candid tweet from the official account of Sharp’s line of computer tablets Galapagos. The tweet was a lament over recent downsizing in part due to the poor sales and economy.
The message was tweeted on 13 December, a day before the “voluntary retirement” of over 2,900 Sharp employees. The Sharp Galapagos official account began sending increasingly somber and nostalgic messages culminating in this message.
“After tomorrow the number of workers here will be 2,960 friends fewer. Looking at the shell of a desk next to me I can feel reality sink in. Honestly, it hurts to go with the other remaining people saying ‘we should rebuild and move forward.’ Also I have to keep myself focused on my own work. There’s nothing to do but accept it and keep going… keep going…”
Generally, expressing honest feeling on Twitter leaves one vulnerable to a backlash of sarcastic comments and trolling. However, Sharp received only a spattering of mean spirited “lol” comments amidst an outpouring of support and sympathetic comments.
People seemed to connect on a more personal level with Sharp as they go through real-life, relatable problems. Many twitter users sent messages of ganbare which loosely translates to “hang in there” or “good luck.”
Since its launch the Galapagos tablets have had an uphill battle to penetrate the market causing them to stop production on all but one size model. Although it was generally well received as an e-book reader, many complained of its high price tag and sales failed to gain momentum.
It’s difficult to say if their moving message will inspire future sales, but it seems unlikely as tablet devices aren’t things purchased on a guilty whim. Nevertheless, it’s never good to see people lose jobs and we wish the best for those laid off.