Apple recently released their first attempt at a social media application, Ping, and so far the results have not been pretty. In essence, Ping is an internet driven messaging app that was built with the hopes of marrying iTunes and Facebook. Many users are frustrated with the lack of connectivity between the two platforms, and by the fact that simply listening to a song on your iTunes isn’t enough to inform your Facebook friends that you “like” a particular artist. Another major issue has been the fact that users cannot listen to their entire library through Ping, as they had been able to do with Lala. The major question now seems to be why hasn’t Apple been able to produce a social media tool with the usual “this is so cool, I have to have it!” Apple-functionality built into it? A number of analysts are suggesting that the music industry and its conglomerate of recording labels has been extremely resistant to Apple launching iTunes with Facebook connectivity because of the risks it would pose for music sharing among iTunes “friends”. What remains to be seen now is whether Apple will be able to negotiate better terms with the music labels to enhance its Ping platform, or whether they’ll simply have to choose another tact for the service and figure out a new play into social media.
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