According to sources close to the matter, Apple will finally be abandoning their social media service, Ping, in the next iteration of iTunes. AllThingsD confirms that the service is no longer going to be around after the new iTunes rolls out alongside iOS 6.
Back in his spotlight session at the D10 conference in May, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the company might be killing off Ping as he promised to add more social integration into its products. The promise seems to be fulfilled with the system-wide Facebook integration found in iOS 6, which was announced at WWDC on Monday. Facebook inclusion adds to the already-installed Twitter functionality of iOS 5, which allows users a variety of options like tweeting photos and webpages.
Although Ping is still active in the recently-released iTunes 10.6.3, which brought iOS 6 beta compatibility to the media management software, sources are saying that the social network will be redacted in the next major release currently scheduled for this fall. Apple will instead move to rely on the social network companies, Facebook and Twitter, which already have a large customer base.
Ping was released in 2010 when Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, unveiled iTunes 10. According to Jobs, Ping was “sort of like Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes.” He went on to say that the network was all about music and even then, critics had mixed feelings about the feature’s future prospects. The initial adoption was promising as over one million users signed up within the first 48 hours but momentum slowed down and it seemed that Ping was destined to become another one of Apple’s side projects. It was later discovered that Apple had contacted Facebook for possible integration but the deal didn’t go through. Since then, the music discovery network has continually downgraded with no substantial updates in the pipeline, foreshadowing that the end is likely near.
According to Cook, “We tried Ping, and I think the customer voted and said ‘This isn’t something that I want to put a lot of energy into.’”