Apple debuted a social network for music yesterday called Ping. It’s built into Apple’s iTunes software for computers and iOS devices.
After taking it for a brief spin, it seems to be functional, but I’m not sure it’s going to be a place I return very often. Maybe only when I’m looking for new music.
I’m most worried that people aren’t going to use it enough for it to be useful. Sort of a chicken-and-egg thing. But we’ll see.
In the meantime, some questions:
- What the heck happened between Apple and Facebook? As I pointed out earlier, you COULD use Facebook Connect with Ping earlier, but it seems Apple pulled the feature. Was there a big security flaw? Or does this have something to do with the “onerous” terms Facebook imposes on its partners, according to Steve Jobs?
- Will there ever be a web interface for Ping? Or will it always remain within iTunes apps? Perhaps when iTunes itself becomes a web product?
- Will your Ping profile ever show up in Google search results, like your Facebook profile? That would be a handy way to drive traffic to iTunes store listings.
- How long until there’s a location-based or “check-in” element to Ping?
- Will musicians give a crap about Ping? Will they ever use it, the way they sorta use MySpace?
- Will I ever be able to export my Ping activity feed to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, WordPress, etc.? Or is this an Apple social network in the truest sense — closed off permanently?
- Why is the “Steve Jobs” account in Cupertino, Calif. “disabled”? Is that really Steve or an impostor? If it’s really Steve, why can’t we read his profile? It would be really cool to see what Steve is listening to. (And why can’t we unfollow him?)
- Why does Apple need to “approve” my photo? How long is this going to take to process? (It’s been hours.) Is an actual human reviewing my photo? Same people who review iPhone apps?
- Will Ping ever plug in to other music sources, like Pandora or Last.fm?
- Will Ping be music-focused forever? Will movies and TV shows make it in, via Apple TV, Netflix, etc.? Or apps, via iOS devices? In other words, is Ping ever destined to be a general, theme-free Facebook killer? The name “Ping” is not music related, as Seth Porges points out on Twitter.
- Bonus: Who’s running Ping? Did Apple hire anyone from Facebook or MySpace with social-network experience? Or is this all in-house?
- Bonus: Doesn’t Apple feel even a little dirty about being one flipped-letter-axis away from bing?