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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

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.

14 Comments
  • Gotta say... I got bored with PING real fast.
    No options. Could only follow a select few groups.
    It would only show music purchased from iTunes... and at that... only a few albums.
    What was my incentive to stay? None at all.
  • I would not like it to be integrated with facebook as I find facebook full of useless crap.
    Actually, I kinda like ping. clean and focused on music and only music. There are many many artists in Ping now (even Metallica !!!!) which is really cool.
    It did not make me buy anything yet though
  • Ping is extremely boring
  • Ping seems like a great idea, and I'm always looking for ways to discover new music. But until a few bands I actually like are on there, and more than one of my friends sets it up, it's dead useless to me.
    Making it easier to find people and bands would be a huge help, but I'm beginning to suspect that the people and bands just aren't on Ping yet. It's taken a ton of work to find two bands and one friend.
    I won't delete my account, and I'll probably come back and look at it every couple months. But so far, I haven't gotten anything out of it.
  • We knew this is bad for Apple when they said they netted 1 million user in 48 hours. Really, thats not great news, 1 million out of the what, 600+ million? That's just sad. Here goes another hobby project for Apple.
  • I like ping. I rather follow music news than what someone is eating. Ping is alright by me.
  • Facebook is shady no matter how you slice it. Apple is also shady. As far as I'm concerned, they both get what they deserve and the consumer loses :-(
  • I think Apple made a huge mistake. Integrated I may have used Ping, without integration it holds no appeal... I don't have time in my day for Ping as a stand alone service.
  • I dont believe Apple have been planning Ping for 18 months...it looks like they hacked it together in a couple of weeks as a response to sites like mflow who do it so much better... at least on mflow my friends can hear my recommendations in full
  • Twitter integration, at least, would actually make me use Ping. How often do people see a link to particularly good tracks from last.fm etc via the people they follow? I see at least a few a day. If Ping had the ability to tie into that, let the world know that I've just downloaded, I dunno, The Latest Nickelback album. Then is would become waaaay more useful.
    Also, would help me realise there's certain music you just don't admit to liking in a public.
  • Hey! What a refreshing post! I mean it's a good share. Thanks for sharing :-D
  • I enjoyed reading your insight...social media software is vital in marketing today, we work at creating it every day.
  • Superb!!! I love opensource this one
  • Instead, he set up accounts under the names of his shell corporations at several Oregon banks. His overseas “clients” would generally wire transfer a substantial amount of money into one of these accounts. Then the clients—through fax or phone—would provide Kaganov with instructions on where to further transmit the funds.