Editorial

Apple, Ping is all but dead, please kill it

The year was 2010, the date, September 1 and Apple decided it needed to go social so it launched Ping; a social music network that Apple hoped would help with music discovery. Naturally, they wanted you to discover new music and then buy it (via iTunes) and they recruited big names to the service that you could “follow” and be “followed” to share music.

Jobs himself pitched this network to be Apple’s attempt at solving music discovery. This was to occur by allowing you to see what your friends and favorite bands were actually downloading. Ping also offered up a wall/news feed feature that would show what your favorite bands are saying and you could interact with the postings as well.

While Apple can get thousands to line up for their new products, they have failed to build out a social network. You would think that the “cult of Apple” would flock to any social network built by the Cupertino powerhouse but here we are.

Top: Twitter | Bottom: Ping

If you happen to venture into Ping, which is conveniently bloating down iTunes, you will discover not music, but that it has turned into nothing more than a glorified Twitter aggregator for musicians.  While there are some unique postings, the majority appears to be pulled directly from Twitter, which begs the question, why not just use Twitter instead?

Ping! is not only teetering on obscurity when it comes to social networks, it doesn’t have the spit and polish that you would expect from Apple. The interface is clunky, finding new bands to “follow” (put in quotes as following fits more appropriately with Twitter) is a bit awkward and for the discovery part, it’s about as useful as looking at the billboard top 100 listing.

Searching around Apple’s website, it looks like the last time they updated http://www.apple.com/itunes/ping/ with relevant content was on January 24 2011 based on the image dates with some of the images dating back to 2010. While we know images can grow long in the tooth, theses are the images promoting the platform and their age would suggest that there has not been a feature upgrade since this time otherwise the images would have to of been replaced.

If you are up for a challenge, go to Apple's website and try and find links to Ping (Hint: Scroll to the bottom). 

So what were saying here is Apple, Ping is dead, it’s a glorified Twitter feed with relatively low interactions. The idea was sound (pun!) but the concept never took off and maybe the World isn’t ready for a social music platform (or the HiFi).

So please, do us a favor, follow Google Buzz, kill this off, trim the fat off of iTunes and get back to what you do best, non-social products (oops).  

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft NL giving away WP7 devices in exchange for 3 apps

Next Story

Lease your next smartphone - starting with the iPhone 4S

24 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

i'm sure they will. they like to keep os x tidy. unlike microsoft which tends to pile on excess useless baggages and drag them along with their windows.

Ping is pretty lame... Apple should take the high road on social networking and just interface with other social networks in iTunes that is completely opt-in for the user.

They should kill it. Integration with Facebook would be nicer, even though I wouldn't use it.

Also, this is another fine example to use against those "iSheep will flock to anything Apple!" morons.

It doesn't work? The market's not ready for it?
Pretty sure Facebook and Spotify really aced this - at least in comparisson to what ping did! :-)

Alastyr said,
It doesn't work? The market's not ready for it?
Pretty sure Facebook and Spotify really aced this - at least in comparisson to what ping did! :-)
They read the market right, sure. But I still really don't care to know what song or newspaper article someone has accessed, nor do I want anyone to find out what I access. If I like it I will actively share it.

Killing it would be like accepting defeat, and it would hurt Apple's "perfect" reputation with the fans.

Do you remember the blogosphere's reaction to Microsoft killing Kin. And to Google's social efforts? No matter how much promise they held, they were bashed like hell!

I once tried to Ping one of the tracks from my music collection and I was told I could Ping only about stuff that's available in the iTunes store.

Lame, IMO.

Why kill it? don't like it, ignore it. i know some people who use it, just to share what music they 'like', ok it might not be massive but with the very little that it actually does it's not going to be massive is it.

I have ping switched off and it doesn't bloat itunes in any way.

I think what killed it was removing the Facebook integration. Now with Open Graph and Timeline Apple could redo Ping through Facebook's services. It would mean Apple relinquishing control of the user, but would achieve the end goal of popularising music and encouraging people to buy more music.

Good riddance! iTunes is bloated enough already. Time to gut it, shrink it down and get back to basics (FWIW, getting rid of QuickTime is a HUGE step in the right direction).

I gave it a go when it was first released, but there is just no reason for it. Perhaps they should just link through Twitter instead.

I never used Ping, it felt like a waste of time to me. When I use iTunes I want to listen to music, that's all.

I don't know anything about it, nor have I ever felt inclined to find out. Yet another of Apple's failed projects - like Apple TV and Safari on PC - that rarely get coverage, as everyone continues to talk about how great the next iPhone / iPod / iPad is going to be.