An official support account for Amazon Web Services has popped up on Reddit. The aim is to help customers with account and billing questions, but AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr said admins would also try to help out with other queries as they come up via the /r/aws subreddit.
The official description for the account describes it as a source for news, articles and tools covering AWS, including S3, EC2, SQS, RDS, DynamoDB, IAM, CloudFormation, Route 53, CloudFront, Lambda, VPC, Cloudwatch, and Glacier, among others.
"This is my favorite place to hang out and I'll be here just as often as ever (re:Invent duties notwithstanding), but I am happy to have the help of my talented and resourceful colleagues," Barr wrote from his account.
Using Reddit as a customer service channel is a growing trend, and not just among businesses and brands. The self-proclaimed front page of the Internet is a hugely popular site with an active and loyal following. As such, the Redditor community has become a reliable information source for troubleshooting obstacles, be it DIY household renovation tips or programming code on an Arduino board.
In the case of AWS, the traditional support path directs customers to the console where they have to sign in and submit a formal billing or account request. On Reddit, the support barriers come down significantly and customers can get answers to questions in near-real time. What's more, the support can come from the broader Redditor community, not just an AWS employee, which makes the whole experience more immediate and personal.
Of course, Reddit's not the only social network used for customer service -- Twitter and Facebook are also used this way to some extent. But Reddit's website structure and user base make make it uniquely fit for crowdsourcing help from peer experts. It's also a place where corporate misdeeds are blasted into the spotlight, making it a complex landscape of trash talk, praise and support that businesses must learn to navigate.
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