It looks like choose-your-own-adventure Twitter games won’t be a one-hit wonder, now that Apple’s social team has adopted the format. A new tweet from the @AppleTV Twitter account today helps users find a movie to watch by having them click through a series of Twitter threads. However, their effort (so far at least) pales compared with the original viral sensation — a Twitter choose-your-own-adventure style game that blew up earlier this month, where Twitter users try to not get fired as Beyoncé’s new assistant.
If you haven’t seen this masterpiece of Twitter handiwork, give yourself a break this Friday and go try it. It’s great fun.
The game is played by presenting you with a multiple choice question. You then click on your answer from among the Twitter replies presented by the original poster.
For example, you start your day by ordering Queen Bey her breakfast. You’re asked to choose between ordering a five-star breakfast or granola and yogurt. If you choose the former (spoiler alert!), you’re fired. If you click the right answer, you move on to the next task.
Further questions take you to new threads where you choose things like who Beyoncé should FaceTime, what activity you suggest while she waits for hair and makeup, what song to play for her when she asks for music, when she should get dressed for the event and where, whether you should photobomb her on the red carpet to fix her dress, where she sits at an event, and so on.
The game isn’t always simple A/B choices, either. The answers lead you down different paths. Your choice may not immediately result in being fired, but still could later on. For instance, if you send Beyoncé swimming, there’s no way to save your job when the next set of choices comes.
According to a TIME profile, the idea for the thread came from 19-year-old student Landon Rivera, who lives in L.A.
The thread, now which now has over a quarter million Twitter likes, was noticed by celebs like Chrissy Teigen and Questlove, the report also noted
After the Beyoncé game blew up into a viral hit, the creator started new threads about being Cardi B’s bodyguard and getting away with murder. These haven’t yet taken off to the extent the original Beyoncé thread did, which today stands at over 250K Likes on the thread placeholder tweet, and 97,300 retweets.
While it’s interesting that Apple’s social media team has now copycatted the idea, their choose-your-own-adventure thread falls short.
Actually, really short.
In fact, it’s not much of an adventure at all.
Instead, the movie suggestion thread doesn’t go much further than letting your pick between two movie watching scenarios, then directs you into a genre of your choosing…then, it dead ends with a movie suggestion.
This misses the reasons the Beyoncé game went viral in the first place: because it was lengthy, complex, multi-branched, and funny. You could get down several threads deep into the thing and then get booted out and lose.
The questions themselves also prompted commentary from those who knew Beyoncé actual habits (or at least, thought they did.)
Social media teams looking to replicate this formula for their own success will need to do more than create a handful of quick-to-end threads with little payoff. Either invest the serious effort in designing a clever branching narrative or just tweet as usual.