updated 08:15 pm EDT, Fri September 3, 2010
Ping at 1m as third of iTunes signs up
Apple tonight hit a milestone quickly as it reached over one million users of Ping within the first 48 hours of its going online. The tally represents a third of the three million that have downloaded iTunes 10. Internet Services VP Eddy Cue expected that number to grow much higher, as "many more people" are likely to download iTunes.
The adoption is very rapid for a fledgling social network and is helped mostly by Apple's existing user base. With over 160 million iTunes owners using credit cards and thus guaranteed to be attached to an Apple ID, Ping will require very little effort to get a significant portion of those users online. Customers also aren't always attached to a computer, as they can use an iPhone or iPod to check Ping.
It remains doubtful that Apple will compete with the largest of pure social networks. Facebook is now solidly in the lead at 500 million users. MySpace is also likely to be secure at 66 million users as of June, but it may have been dealt a blow in its struggling music efforts as Apple may create the social environment for music, even if it lacks any other component. Apple has acknowledged that the primary goal of Ping is music discovery and not direct competition, although it may have already outshadowed the similar Zune Social.