Apple seems to be in a roll of victories after winning at least three patent related cases in the US and abroad, but what the public did not notice much is the silent death of the Cupertino giant’s attempt at social networking. Ping, the failed music-centered social network is soon to be decommissioned this coming September 30.
During last week’s Apple media event, the company showed an overhauled iTunes interface for iOS devices and desktop with a missing Ping in it. The new iTunes will be released in October.
Ping was initially conceived to be, as per Steve Jobs’ description, “sort of like Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes” social networking for music. It was designed to let users follow their friend’s music activities and favorite musical artists so they can talk and discover new music.
Initially, many thought the effort would succeed owing to Apple’s string of successful product launches and widely accepted innovative ideas. On top of that, Apple banked on its huge customer fan base of over 150 million iTunes users as a great potential hot spot for music.
Good as it may seem on paper, the project failed to capture the imagination of customers. After a failed deal with Facebook, Ping flopped as it lacked a friend-finding tool. Users were also annoyed by the service’s frequent prompts to buy music tracks.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “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.’”
The upcoming iTunes will have similar features that Ping offered. iTunes 10.7 will let users to share the music they buy in Facebook and pages of music artists will allow users to follow new tracks and photos.
Apple is not totally giving up on its music ambitions as it was rumored to be developing a Pandora-like service. Let’s see how Apple will fare this time.