If you didn’t know already, Apple released its latest revolutionary product. Ping! You may ask what Ping is, and its simple. Ping is a social network centered around music that is hosted in the company’s iTunes music player. As well as being on iTunes on the computer, Apple will incorporate Ping into its multitude of iOS devices. The question is however, will we be saying the above statement in the next couple of years? Or will we ever?
Lets start with a look back at other social networks formed around music. According to Wikipedia, there are eight networks that incorporate music into their offerings as a network. Out of those eight, Last.fm is the most notorious network having thirty million members. MySpace has also been supporting the music scene the last couple of years and so have some other social networks. But Ping is different than those eight or nine. Ping has an advantage of having 120 million users using an iOS device plus the number of people using iTunes with other Apple devices as members. So on day one, Apple is the number one social music networking site by far. This does not mean that Ping is going to a success.
To me, what people like about Facebook and Twitter that it is integrated in to their choice of computer, phone or whatever device they might choose to use. This will not be the case, as of right now, with Ping. To access Ping, users must have iTunes (goodbye Lunix users), and to be mobile, you must have an iOS device (goodbye anybody without an iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad). There are millions of users that are capable of using Ping, but what will the adoption rate be? Not every iTunes/iOS user will use Ping.
After a day of browsing through Ping and checking out what it is all about, I’m not to impressed. I can change my status, like music, see what other people are listening too as well as numerous other things, but then I realize I’m not on the web, I’m inside iTunes. Ping gives me the feeling of being locked in. I’m not on the open web, I’m locked down. Sort of how the App Store makes me feel. Ping only allows me to access one network, the iTunes network. Ping encourages me to purchase music(which I believe you should), but Ping seems a little pushy. Everything seems about buying more music.
To me, Ping is an attempt to make buying music on iTunes more fashionable and easier. Will it be successful? Nobody knows. For now, Ping is a true Apple product, it keeps people on their devices that run on their software, so that you never leave the Apple brand. Apple does truly amazing work and are very successful, but unless some things change, I don’t see Ping being revolutionary in the social network space.