June 13, 2012, 11:51 AM — Apple will soon shut down its music-focused social network Ping in favor of partnerships with Facebook and Twitter, according to an online report. Since its launch with iTunes 10 about 21 months ago, Ping has failed to gain much traction with users. Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted as much earlier in June during an interview at the D10 conference saying that most Apple customers have decided not to "put a lot of energy" into Ping.
At the time, Cook suggested Apple had yet to decide on Ping's fate, but now All Things D reports that Ping will be shut down with the next major release of iTunes--presumably iTunes 11. The social network is still operational in iTunes 10.6.3, the latest version of Apple's multimedia software, and in iOS 5. But Ping in the developer beta of iOS 6 is currently non-functional; it's not clear if that's a sign of Ping's imminent demise or if Ping will start working in iOS 6 at a later date.
Ping was supposed to be Apple's big push into social with a music-based network built into iTunes on the desktop and iOS devices. Ping allowed you to follow updates from your favorite artists, broadcast your iTunes purchases to friends, share samples of songs you like, and find concert information about artists you follow. Apple described Ping as "Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes."
Ping gained more than one million users less than 48 hours after launching, but users soon balked at the service's commercial nature. Apple's social network was more about discovering music to purchase on iTunes than creating digital communities around artists or finding users with like-minded musical tastes. Ping also lacked basic social networking features like a way to broadcast status updates or post interesting third-party content such as a Rolling Stone interview with your favorite band.
Pingville: The Real Social Networking Ghost Town