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Apple's Ill-Fated Social Network 'Ping' Launched 10 Years Ago Today

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Today marks the 10th anniversary of Apple launching its ill-fated social network Ping, which allowed users to follow their favorite music artists and friends within iTunes and discover what songs and albums they were listening to.


Here is how Apple described Ping in a September 2010 press release:
Ping lets you follow your favorite artists such as Lady Gaga, Coldplay, U2, Jack Johnson, Yo-Yo Ma and more, to see what they're up to, check out photos and videos they've posted, see their tour dates and read comments about other artists and albums they're listening to. In addition, you can post your thoughts and opinions, your favorite albums and songs, the music you've downloaded from iTunes and the concerts you plan to attend.
Despite a promising start, with more than one million users joining Ping in less than 48 hours after its launch, the service never truly caught on. Ping was officially shut down on September 30, 2012, with Apple CEO Tim Cook noting that "the customer voted and said 'this isn't something that I want to put a lot of energy into'."


Apple launched a similar social platform for artists called Apple Music Connect in 2015, but it suffered the same fate as Ping, shutting down in late 2018.

Article Link: Apple's Ill-Fated Social Network 'Ping' Launched 10 Years Ago Today
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,901
4,715
Imagine MySpace, but instead of everyone having their own space, only celebrity musicians do, and instead of any real ability to customize it, all they can do is tweet and set a profile picture.

Basically, take a social network which had already failed (I think we can agree that MySpace failed before ~2009, right), and make a clone that strips out anything that was good from it.
 

Jessica Lares

macrumors G3
Oct 31, 2009
9,315
814
Near Dallas, Texas, USA
Imagine MySpace, but instead of everyone having their own space, only celebrity musicians do, and instead of any real ability to customize it, all they can do is tweet and set a profile picture.

Basically, take a social network which had already failed (I think we can agree that MySpace failed before ~2009, right), and make a clone that strips out anything that was good from it.

Yeah. I think they should have been looking at what Last.fm was at the time, or maybe even just acquire them because a lot of people were using it with iTunes then.
 
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mondaiguy

macrumors member
Jan 9, 2010
31
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I liked Ping. I was able to talk to musicians on it, like Brian Molko from Placebo. Trent Reznor would post stuff all the time. Ironically, there's still no music service that offers something like this. Apple should not have given it up. Would've been a good fit for Apple Music, and could have been re-worked.

Ping was better than Apple Music's current social implementation.
 

AngerDanger

macrumors 601
Dec 9, 2008
4,905
23,628
God, I love the articles where you can reminisce about nearly forgotten Apple products and services—plus the skeuomorphic design, vertical traffic light navigation, and 4th generation iPod touch.

EDIT: It's easy to see why Ping failed, but I wonder how it could've been saved. As cool as it was that some musicians were into it initially, I think it should've been more user-oriented.

It would've been a mess, but imagine if you could view user comments right next to songs you searched for on iTunes. If you clicked to view more, it'd take you to a more full-fledged Ping interface.

It would've been annoying to those disinterested in user comments, but it seems better than hiding Ping in a tab to the right that only gets opened a couple times accidentally. It might be like the YouTube comments section—a dumpster fire but one that still burns to this day.
 
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Paul_a

macrumors newbie
Sep 1, 2020
5
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Weirdly, I'm glad this failed. Apple is criticized for not trying things and letting them fail. They have. All part of growing.
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,552
14,292
In between a rock and a hard place
If Apple had spent more time developing a social network 10 years ago just think about how secure and private it would be today.
Might have been secure and private, but I'm not sure about successful. Social networks thrive on oversharing so privacy isn't really a concern. Neither is security considering the hacks that have occurred with no real repercussions like loss of traffic. Neither privacy nor security concerns have slowed the pervasiveness of FB, Twitter, Insta, or any other popular social platform.

By and large the only people who seem care about privacy and security are tech site enthusiasts and some of the other nerd culture.
 

JPSaltzman

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2011
256
501
Or the iTunes LP version of a release, a more-expensive version of a just-released album that included all these videos (at a lower resolution than buying the video from iTunes itself) and some other goodies (and lots of junk, too).

It kind of reminds of the iTunes Movie Extras. Once upon a time, those extras were directly downloaded onto your hard drive. Now they exist only in the cloud. And apparently the only way to access those Extras on Apple TV 3 (I don't know about 4) was to go through the General Setting and do a hop-skip-and-a-jump to access it.

Now the Extras mean nothing to me. For the same price or perhaps a few dollars more, I can buy a DVD or Blu-Ray version that will include not only Apple's Extras, but also additional commentary, outtakes, documentaries, etc.
 
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