updated 08:50 pm EDT, Thu September 30, 2010
"Onerous terms" being resolved quietly?
Facebook CTO Bret Taylor told attendees at a dinner for New York media that he was "very confident" the two companies would reach a deal regarding Ping, iTunes' built-in social network focused on music, according to a report on Business Insider. Previous negotiations to bring Facebook users into the service collapsed after 18 months, forcing Apple to launch the service without Facebook integration.
After the launch of iTunes 10, Apple CEO Steve Jobs claimed the roadblock was "onerous terms" on the part of Facebook, which the company deflected, citing a requirement that Facebook Connect, which is normally open for free use by developers, requires an agreement when companies large enough to affect infrastructure use it. Apple's millions of iTunes users suddenly expanding the service would have caused such a hit to Facebook.
Ping launched very briefly with the connectivity intact, but after Facebook blocked requests, Apple stripped out all reference to it. Reports vary on which side was at fault, but the snafu did not stop Ping from signing up a million users within 48 hours, despite an initially thin set of features. It is hard to gauge how much more impact the Facebook integration would have had, but even Jobs continued to express interest in incorporating Facebook Connect in the future, suggesting it could be added to a future update.