Apple getting rid of iTunes social network Ping

Steven Loeb · June 12, 2012 · Short URL:

After trying for two years, Apple drops its own social networking efforts

It’s shocking, but sometimes Apple does fail. I know, it’s hard to believe (though maybe not so hard for those of us old enough to remember Apple’s reputation between Steve Job’s two stints as CEO). The company has had such a great reputation the last decade or so, and its ideas all seemed to catch on so well with the public that it seems strange to report that one of its ideas failed and is now heading toward the trash heap.

Ping, Apple’s attempt to create a social network in iTunes, is being jettisoned in the next iTunes release, sources told AllThingsDigital on Tuesday.

Ping was supposed to allow users to share songs, follow different artists and second recommendations to friends. It was included on the latest iTunes update, 10.6.3, and is still available on iOS 6’s beta version, but is likely to be removed during the next software release in the fall.

The music social network service was introduced in September 2010. The service hit one million users in its first 48 hours, but the service never really took off. Now, less than two years later, Apple's calling it quits, and will instead work on integrations with Twitter and Facebook, which will allow users to share the same information they were able to on Ping.

Apple’s new relationship with Facebook was highlighted at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference on Monday.

It was announced that users would now be able to log into Facebook from Safari, Maps, and Photos. Facebook will also be integrated with Siri, presumably so that you can post directly through Siri, and you can also “like” apps.

"We tried Ping, and I think the customer voted and said this isn't something that I want to put a lot of energy into," Apple CEO TIM Cook is quoted as saying during the D10 conference in May, though at the time he did not outright say that the service was done.

"Will we kill it? I don't know; I'll look at it," Cook said at the time.

Now, Cook seems to have finally come to same conclusion as most of the users on iTunes and is ready to say goodbye to Ping.

Apple could not be reached for comment.

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