Apple pulled the plug on Ping Monday, ending the company's first foray into social networking. Apple had announced Ping would shut down on September 30th, a promise now met.
Ping was a social networking service centered around music and iTunes. It allowed iTunes users to follow each other and see what music they liked and purchased. It was launched with great fanfare in 2010, but it did so with one fatal flaw: no Facebook integration. As such, it existed in a social networking vacuum, and it never gained critical mass.
The service had been built with Facebook integration, but Facebook yanked Apple's access to its APIs just before launch because the company wanted Apple to pony up for the right to do so. Apple declined Facebook's terms, access was yanked, and Ping users subsequently suffered pangs of regret.
Apple stopped taking new members in September, and as of Monday, members going to iTunes will now no longer see a link to Ping. Unfortunately, few people are likely to notice.
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