If you use iTunes, you may not be familiar with Ping. You know that little annoying window that drops down, every time you buy a song, that tells you what your friends like or what “people like you” are buying, and that no matter what you do can never seem to go away?
Yeah. That’s Ping.
Ping was a joke the second it came out two years ago, because, first of all, nobody wants to do any sort of social networking through iTunes. Yes, that’s what it was for. Ping was launched to sink right out of the gate because Facebook and Apple got into a peeing match over terms, and by the time that was settled, it was Spotify throwing your taste in music onto everyone’s Feed.
Apple, amazingly, has quit it. Ping is dead. But why did Apple give up, since quitting is just not its style? And what does this mean for iTunes?
The official line is that Facebook and Twitter are more closely integrated into the somewhat hideous new version of iTunes Apple is inflicting on us within a week. But my gut tells me that Apple has been spending a lot of time looking for a way to gracefully either integrate the service or quietly get rid of it, and found neither.
And really, it’s not like iTunes needs the help. Apple claimed to have moved twenty billion downloads over the life of iTunes. That means Apple has sold just as many songs in the last two years as it did between 2003 and 2010. Obviously people don’t need help finding music.
Besides, they’re all cuddly with Facebook now… and that stock is slipping ever lower.