If you use MobileMe, Windows Live, Yahoo!, or AOL for email, then you can have Ping search your contacts for friends who are also using Ping as well as send annoying invites to those friends who are not using ping. Here's how:

  1. Go to Ping in iTunes and in the "Find People" box in the right column, click "email" in "invite friends by email"
  2. A box will pop up asking you to list out the email address of those you would like to invite. Ignore this and notice the logos for MobileMe, Windows Live, Yahoo, and AOL at the bottom of the box.
  3. Click the appropriate logo.
  4. Sign in.
  5. The window will divide into two sections: the top will list your contacts who use Ping but whom you don't follow, complete with avatars, and the bottom will list the names and email of your contacts who do not use ping.
  6. Use the checkboxes and deselect/select all links to send follow requests to those you'd like to follow and email invites to those you'd like to invite.

Ping has been off to a rocky start and this may help, but probably not enough. Personally, I only found 8 more friends using this search feature. Ping is also integrated with Twitter, but I don't see Ping even having a chance to take off until Facebook jumps on board.

What do you think? Does the email search help make Ping more relevant?