Ping the social network you probably never used

Last week’s allthingsD conference provided speculation in the the media that Ping is likely to be shut down. Ping is the social network in iTunes that most people don’t even realise is there (its not to be mixed up with ping.fm that Seesmic acquired and is in the process of shutting down). It is like a mash-up of Amazon reviews and last.fm, but is a bit of a failure.

Macworld has a good summary of many of the things that were wrong with Ping here. It could have been great and used in a similar way to iTunes playlists or Spotify lists for brands. I would add a number of other failings on to the list that MacWorld gave:

  • Ping only liked to you comment on albums and tracks that iTunes has in at that time. Some digital music isn’t on iTunes, other albums leave iTunes for different reasons, presumably because of licensing periods for the tracks, yet these recordings remain in people’s collections
  • Ping missed an opportunity to integrate iTunes with last.fm by scrobbling directly from the iTunes application rather than requiring a third-party application
  • The share via Twitter function wasn’t sufficiently granular in terms of its control

This post is archived from my former blog for PR Week.