Apple to pull the plug on its Ping social network

13 Jun 2012

Apple is likely to pull the plug on its Ping social network with the next update to iTunes and iOS 6, considering its deep level of Facebook integration – including the ability to ‘like’ content within iTunes and the App Store.

The writing was on the wall from the first integration Apple did with Twitter on its iPhone 4S and the deep level of Facebook integration in the forthcoming iOS 6 operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch all but confirms this.

When Apple previewed iOS 6 on Monday, it revealed that as well as updating Facebook across all iOS devices, users can also ‘like’ content directly from the App Store and iTunes and see what friends recommend.

According to All Things Digital, Ping, which still exists in iTunes 10.6.3 and in the iOS 6 Beta, will be gone by the time the official updates are rolled out.

The thesis is this – Apple tried to build a social network with commerce at its heart, not social interaction.

I think the alliances with Twitter and Facebook make the most rational sense and in fact the deep level of integration with Facebook in iOS 6 – including the ability to update a status using your voice via Siri – is very revealing.

It reveals how much Apple actually admires Facebook – a kindred spirit of sorts when it comes to vision – and how badly it wanted to work with the social network.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years