Apple is getting into the social networking game with its newest version of iTunes. Along with a sizable amount of product announcements, the company announced that Ping, a social network for music, would be included in iTunes 10 at a press conference. Currently available to over 160 million iTunes users in 23 countries, Ping is in the words of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, “a social network all about music.”
Social Music Discovery
Much like Facebook and Twitter you can follow certain people on Ping, or be followed by others. A news feed will let you know what your friends are listening to, allowing you to discover new tracks or artists that you might not have previously heard of. You can also follow individual artists you are interested in, allowing you to get information about that musician directly in your news feed as well. Ping allows you to post photos and videos, as well as write comments about the music that you like, and the music you don’t. Much like Facebook, your friends can then comment on things that you choose to post.
Songs that are posted on Ping are one-click buyable, making it so you like a track a friend posts on Ping, you can click on it and instantly purchase it from iTunes to add to your own music library.
Ping has a built-in concert finder that is currently loaded with over 17,000 different concert listings (provided by Live Nation). You can look at all of the concert dates for a particular artist you like, or can just get information about tour stops near you. If you find a concert you want to go to, you can also post it to your profile on Ping, letting all your friends know you plan on attending.
Ping is an opt-in service available as a part of iTunes 10. Ping will also be available on the iPhone and iPod Touch in addition to iTunes. The service requires your phone or iPod to be running iOS 4, ruling out the original iPhone, and making it only compatible with third and fourth generation iPod touches.
While several other services such as last.fm and even the Microsoft Zune offer similar services, 160 million built-in users definitely makes Ping a powerhouse from day one.
What do you think about Ping? Do you see yourself using it?