After 18 months of courtship, did Facebook leave Ping at the altar?

Apple and Facebook were in discussions for 18 months before ultimately failing to come to terms on integrating the world's most popular social network with Apple's upstart Ping music service.

While we don't know the details of their discussions, it makes sense that Apple may have wanted to build Ping as a music-tracking and sales service on top of Facebook's social graph. This could have allowed Apple to get what it wanted out of the relationship -- more iTunes and iPod sales -- without having to build a social network from scratch.

Though they don't say how, of course, and Facebook Connect is a far sight from a turnkey social music network, isn't it? Either way, while no one's saying what went wrong (aside from Steve Jobs' assertion that Facebook wanted "onerous" terms). Business Insider notes, courtesy of an industry veteran:

Working with Facebook as a large company is challenging at this stage, very similar to mid-late-90s Microsoft."

Ouch. Bottom line, though, would Ping be more valuable to you if it could find your friends via Facebook connect? How about via Twitter or Gmail? (Or how about we forget Facebook for a minute and just add App Store apps to Ping?)

[Business Insider]

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.