Yesterday, Steve Jobs announced Apple’s foray into the world of social networks with the iTunes centric Ping service. Maybe I am experiencing some social network fatigue, but despite this probably being a good idea, I am not sure just how people will jump in even if the “water is fine”.
The picture below hits the highlights of the service in that now familiar Apple announcement / press event look.
It’s like “Facebook and Twitter meet iTunes,” Jobs says. “But it’s not Facebook, it’s not Twitter,” Jobs is quick to note — “it’s a social network all about music.” And guess what? It has 160 million users in 23 countries built in right away (Apple will presumably be opening it up to other iTunes users later). And it’s available on your iPhone and iPod touch — right in the iTunes Store.
Jobs notes that this feature is all about discovery. You can follow both artists and your friends. And you can be followed. With it, you get custom song and album charts to discover new music. And you can post your thoughts and opinions about your favorite music. Plus, there are 17,000 concert listing in the network.
If Ping gets any real traction this will possibly be the death blow for MySpace who has tried to claim the music space social network thing for a while now. Honestly, though, any prognostications about this service are really kind of silly. This is Apple after all and right now they appear to have the ‘Midas touch’ and considering how passionate people get about music there could be something here.
On a complete side note, I wonder how the makers of ping golf clubs feel today? Is there some way to leverage the fact that their brand name just got more popular than ever in an area that has nothing to do with their product?
Let’s take an informal MP poll. Are you going to jump into Ping with both feet? Would you consider yourself curious, indifferent or chomping at the bit? Ping us and let us know your thoughts.