Oprah tweeted an endorsement of the Microsoft Surface tablet on Sunday, apparently unaware that Twitter broadcast to some of her followers that the tweet was sent from a competing tablet, the Apple iPad.
In the tweet, Oprah, using the hashtag “#favoritethings,” said she “love[s]” the Surface and “bought 12 already for Christmas gifts.”
Twitter appended metadata to the message indicating that Oprah had sent the tweet “via Twitter for iPad,” suggesting that perhaps Oprah didn’t keep any of the Surface tablets for herself.
That metadata was visible to users of certain advanced third-party and first-party Twitter applications, such as Tweetdeck. Users who accessed Twitter via its website, instead of those applications, did not see that the tweet was sent from an iPad.
Oprah’s product endorsements typically carry substantial weight. The Hearst Corporation says O Magazine has an audience of over 13 million readers, and Oprah left the daytime talk show circuit as a darling of viewers nationwide.
But Oprah isn’t the first public figure to be unwittingly embarrassed by Twitter.
When Apple co-founder and chief executive Steve Jobs passed away last year, Technorati was quick to point out that the Westboro Baptist Church used an Apple iPhone Twitter application to announce plans to picket the tech innovator’s funeral.
Internet users relentlessly mocked Westboro’s technological gaffe, but so far, the responses that appear below Oprah’s tweet are mostly positive.
She is Oprah, after all.