Apple's new Community+ program is designed to recognize frequent contributors' "positive attitude, expertise, and curiosity" as they help other posters solve their technical problems.
Debuting quietly, the Apple Community+ Program is world-wide, and limited to select invitees. On a site for the program, the company does give guidelines on what they are looking for.
"Participation in the Apple Community+ program is by invitation only," Apple says. "We look for shining stars— high-level community members who embody the qualities that make our space warm and welcoming."
"They're engaged and active in the community. They share quality content and helpful answers to build their reputation," the company continues. "And most importantly, they're role models whose character motivates others and elevates our community."
"Program members share useful insights and endless knowledge, make everyone feel welcome, and inspire others through thoughtful collaboration," the company also says.
Apple goes on to say that there are "special perks" associated with the status. Beyond a a series of Apple Support forum badges, the landing page for the program also says that there are "white-glove experiences" and more for selectees.
It's not clear exactly when the Apple Watch Fitness-like badges were added. Apple has had some variation of point-count badges for some time.
Apple Support Communities are mostly user-led, with employees popping their heads in from time to time. They have exited for over two decades, in one form or another.
The Apple Support Community forums provide an array of troubleshooting options and in some times, commiseration from other users about technical problems. The best answer by the forum users for a question is highlighted at the top of a forum thread to make the information discovery process easier — if one is found and available.