Today Apple, to no surprise seeing as they have consistently been on the forefront of innovation and creative apps, released their new ITunes Ping incorporated in ITunes 10. The whole idea behind Ping (besides being a name that surely won’t be quickly forgotten) is to create a social network for music…the Facebook of music for lack of better terms. It basically allows you to follow your friends, while following your favorite artists, their favorite artists, talk about music and discover new music all under one social network. It’s a cool concept. I am a HUGE and I mean huge music lover, all kinds, and surfing ITunes alone isn’t all that fun so the thought of being able to find music, backed by a network of your friends and people who like the same music is a pretty nifty concept.
But does it work? Is it all it’s cracked up to be? That is the question at hand…
Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, when describing Ping said, “It’s like Twitter and Facebook meet iTunes.” Like I said, it’s the social network dedicated entirely to music. Ping is available to the 160 million users of Itunes to date, and allows users to interact through custom song and chart lists, news feeds, concert listing, and sharing. Ping also got it right with the privacy settings as you are able to have total control over who you follow, who follows you and what is shared. SO taking all this into consideration I do think it was a bold step for Apple to take as far as enterting the social networking world, but it gives music lovers a place to network…that is if they want yet another social network to manage.
I have heard several people say and read several other articles talking about how Ping is trying to become the next Facebook…FALSE. All Ping is trying to do is build a network of people who was to talk about music. It in no way measures up to, or is trying take over Facebook…it just can’t due to lack of capabilities. Apple is good at music, Facebook is good at social networking. Both know their boundaries. According to reports, there was some trouble between Facebook and Ping in agreeing on terms so currently there is no way for the two networks to link or share via Ping.
I just downloaded Ping and am still unsure of how I feel about it. I really think social networking is meant for the experts aka Facebook and Twitter and technology, hardware, and design should be left for Apple. But then again, music sharing is something people have been doing forever so this might actually take off. I guess time will tell.