updated 08:39 pm EDT, Wed September 12, 2012
Twitter, Facebook integration to remain, replace it
After CEO Tim Cook admitting that music-based social network Ping had been one of Apple's occasional missteps, saying "I think the customer voted" on it and that Apple doesn't need its own social network, Apple has begun notifying users that Ping will no longer be available as of September 30 and is not accepting any new members. The two-year-old service, built into iTunes, gained millions of accounts when first introduced, but had issues with a failed plan to incorporate Facebook likes and sharing and faltered shortly afterwards.
The existing Twitter integration aspect of Ping will remain in iTunes, and be joined with Facebook integration and likes in a future major update following the release of iOS 6, which will bring the features to Apple's mobile devices. Apple today released an update to iTunes 10, version 10.7, but the Facebook integration will not be implemented until iTunes 11 is released.
Playlists created in Ping will automatically be converted into iMixes, but lists of followers or people and artists users followed will be lost. The service let users "like" and post comments to other Ping users (and later, post to Twitter), and the system noted songs users liked or purchased on iTunes. A number of bands and artists signed on to Ping, and continue to post occasionally, but the service failed to catch on and was quietly ignored by Apple, to the point that an update earlier this year that disabled the service completely (but temporarily) for some users. Rumors that Apple would end the service appeared shortly thereafter, more or less confirmed by Cook during an interview at the D10 conference.