Apple announced on Wednesday the end date for Ping, the company's now-failed attempt at launching its own social networking service. Apple CEO Tim Cook had hinted that Ping was on the way out at June's D10 conference, but the company made it official on the Ping service itself on Wednesday.
If you aren't logged into iTunes and click on Ping, or if you haven't already registered for the service, you'll get this message when you click on Ping in the iTunes sidebar:
If you are logged in to iTunes and did already sign up for the service, a new banner runs across the top of the site with the message that, "Ping will no longer be available as of September 30th.
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 it 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.
Today, relations between Apple and Facebook have improved, and Facebook likes have been incorporated into iTunes. That was apparently the path taken rather than trying to resurrect Ping.
9to5Mac first spotted the Ping notification.