Ping, the musical network that was Steve Job’s grand vision for social music discovery, will shutter on September 30 after Apple’s iPhone 5 unveiling was followed up with a demo on Facebook’s integration.
We all saw this one coming. By including Facebook Likes within the description of each app, song, or book on iTunes, Apple enables its users to then find what friends have liked, or you can share via Twitter and Facebook your iTunes purchases. This type of social integration is what Steve Jobs intended to be built into iTunes, but Ping just never caught on.
Apple CEO, Tim Cook, explained to AllThingsD at the D Conference in May that customers were just not interested in the service. ““We tried Ping and the customer voted, and we said, this isn’t something I want to put a lot of energy into. Some customers love it, but there’s not a huge number that do, so will we kill it? I don’t know. I’ll look at it,” said Cook.
Cook also spoke about Apple’s willingness to work with third-party social networks. “Apple doesn’t have to own a social network,” Cook told AllThingsD. “But does Apple need to be social? Yes.”
We’d be surprised if Steve Jobs would have minded that Apple has resorted to integrating Facebook and killing off the music social network altogether. After all, during Ping’s debut in 2010, Jobs first described Ping as, “sort of like Facebook and Twitter meets iTunes,” but solely focused on music. And as we now know, Ping never quite filled the social media void over at Apple.