The Problem With Apple's Ping


I have signed up for Apple's new music social network, Ping. And I am officially unimpressed.

Ping, if you missed it, was the big new feature in iTunes 10, which Apple announced on Wednesday. Ping allows the 160 million registered iTunes users to get social: You can follow some of your favorite artists to find out what they're buying or listening to. You can follow other iTunes users to see what music they like, rate, review or purchase. And you can let people follow you.

What's not to like?

Well, there's one overarching problem with Ping: It ignores Facebook. As in, there's zero Facebook integration. This thing is supposed to be a social network, but I can't cant use my Facebook friend list to recruit people to Ping, and I cant report my iTunes activity out to Facebook.

How silly is this? Its as if someone came out with a new digital music file format that wont play on iPods. Or a new digital camera that wont connect to computers.

Apple seems to have missed the fact that, though Facebook is a relatively young company, it has solidified its place as the standard in social networking. Facebook doesnt just have 500 million users — it has 500 million users who signed up for a social experience. It's just wacky to come out with any new social service in 2010 that doesn't tap into Facebook or Twitter.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs told AllThingsD's Kara Swisher that Apple talked to Facebook about a linkup, but it didn't work because Facebook wanted onerous terms from Apple. Not sure what that means.

But the effect is that Ping debuts as this odd little social network sitting by itself in the corner refusing to, you know, network. And be social.

Questions? Comments?