“Any publicity is good publicity”, right? Maybe not. iTunes users haven’t exactly warmed up to Ping, and it has yet to become an even remotely successful social network. But where did Apple go wrong? In the “Year-End 2010” feature, NPR outlines the best and worst ideas of the year, and describes why Ping falls squarely in the latter category.
Apple doesn’t like sharing, thus, it is difficult for them to build a social network.
Ping is first and foremost just another music selling platform, which is a major reason of its downfall. As noted by NPR, Ping doesn’t encourage musicians to have legitimate personal conversations with their fans. Twitter and Facebook, on the other hand, are excellent mediums for both parties, since most of the time (depending on the band or musician in question) the person on the other end is real. Ping feels more like an advertisement for upcoming concerts, apps, and albums.
Apple really needs to loosen their grip on Ping if they truly want it to flourish, but it may be too late. Users seem to have disowned the service, and enticing them to come back is no easy task. Apple borked Ping’s Facebook integration, and connecting with Twitter is hardly worthwhile. Ping needs to be completely re-imagined with a goal other than profit if it wants to survive.