Hold on to your hats, folks: Apple, world’s largest tech company notorious for a marked unwillingness to participate in trade shows and social networking services, might be throwing skin in the social game after all.

The iPad, iPod, and iPhone manufacturer whose previous social ventures include a YouTube channel with comments disabled, an attempt at launching an iTunes-based social network of their own, and a Twitter account that may or may not be theirs, made waves today with a job posting for a “social media expert” at the Los Angeles headquarters of their Beats subsidiary.

The move arrives hot on the heels of August’s high-profile hiring of former Nike and Burberry social head Musa Tariq, as well as an increased interest in tweeting by CEO Tim Cook and senior vice president Philip Schiller.

Speculation about Apple’s apparent intention to edge into the mainstream as far as their relationship with social is concerned centers on a shift in corporate culture following longtime CEO Steve Jobs’ death. “Apple sees itself as being in transition from its old communications model,” Fortune reports, “where a ‘single narrator’ — aka the late Steve Jobs — articulated a ‘single narrative’ at a time and place of his choosing, to a new model where the company speaks in multiple voices and participates in two-way discussions with its consumers and fans.”

In other words, Apple, formerly employing a strategy of waiting on the oft-unpredictable maneuvers and decisions of its CEO and CEO alone, finds itself favoring a design-by-committee approach as it moves on from Jobs’ death. The goal for Apple is to do a better job of maintaining its position as a major industry player than the first time Jobs departed the company {link no longer active}, something they feel can be accomplished in part with a stronger social effort.