The week Apple released iTunes 10 with a new feature called Ping. Creating the first main stream social network centered around music. This is both genius and ridiculous at the same time, let me explain why..
Traditional social networks like Facebook, MySpace and twitter all focused on building audience first, then worried about a business model down the track.
Take Facebook for example, they take their 500M+ active users then attempt to work out a way to take a cut for buying decisions influenced by your social connections. Right now the only purchasable items on Facebook are through the Marketplace which I’m sure most users are blissfully unaware even exists.
Apple’s Ping displays a feed on not only your favorite artists activities / new itunes releases an special content, but also shares what your friends are buying on iTunes.
This provides a quick and easy way for users to click through and buy content from iTunes easily and conveniently especially when Apple already has your credit card on file. How many other social networks can say that.
You have to be in iTunes on the desktop or iTunes on the phone to access Ping. There really should be a web front end to iTunes by now, allowing access from anywhere with a browser.
No Facebook integration – There’s currently a feud between Apple and Facebook in regards to FB’s API. I’ll spare you the long winded details, but the skinny is this is a feature Apple really needs, expecting that people will recreate connections in Ping is ridiculous, so get it done!
Artists are very limited at this point, I’m sure this will grow in the future, but to be truly valuable, I need to be able to follow updates from all my favorite artists. Coldplay has hundreds of thousands of followers on Ping, if they can translate this into real $$ then other Artists will follow.
So what do you guys think of Ping ? Are you already using it ? Reports are that Apple had over a million users opt-in in the first 2 days.