Apple’s One Big Surprise: Ping Social NetworkBy Chris Weiss
While most of the announcements Apple made today were expected and rumored for at least a week or two, the one big surprise that it had was Ping, its very own social network. Determined to shrink even more into its own, isolated world rather than embrace the grander landscape around it, Apple has made Ping an iTunes-centric social network designed to allow users to share music and music related news with friends. In addition to sharing music, Ping lets you follow your favorite artists and music news. The social network will be built into iTunes 10, the latest version of iTunes, also unveiled today.
Apple is trying to leverage its industry leading music store, which has about 160 million users, in breaking into the ever-important social networking segment. But does the world really need yet another social network? Or another way to share music, for that matter? Plus, as is Apple’s trend, the network is internally driven and limited to iTunes, so you can share what you’re buying on iTunes but not outside music. Good for Apple, not especially intriguing for users. Some might even call it a bald-faced marketing ploy doomed for failure.
I suppose we’ll get our chance to decide after we’ve used it (or avoided it) for a bit. [via Washington Post]