Ping Tops 1 Million Users in Two Days

| News

Apple’s Ping music-focused social networking service may be little more than 48 hours old, but it already boasts over a million users. The Mac and iPod maker announced that Ping topped the million mark late Friday afternoon.

Ping lets iTunes 10 users follow artists and bands, as well as see what iTunes Store music their friends like.

So far about a third of the people that have downloaded iTunes 10 have signed up for the Ping service, according to Apple vice president of Internet Services, Eddy Cue.

Apple introduced Ping along with iTunes 10 during the company’s music and iPod media event on September 1 in San Francisco. The company also unveiled updated iPod shuffle, iPod nano and iPod touch models, along with the second generation Apple TV.

iTunes 10 is free for Mac OS X and Windows users and is available for download at the Apple Web site.

Comments

ks2problema

Ah… but how many of those are spambots?

palenoue

Two million pingers and still no Dr. Demento or Weird Al to follow :(

daemon

iTunes has over 160 million users. Considering Ping is part of iTunes, I’d say 2 million people actuallying trying it out is nothing.

Nemo

Well, two million users was more than enough for Facebook, which has a threshold of a million connections as requiring a special contract, to block access from Ping.  So Facebook certainly regards two million as a lot.

As for spambots, that the hackers, who create them, are targeting Ping means that they have concluded that Ping is a sufficient lucrative target to warrant their efforts, after just a day in operation.

ks2problema

“... a sufficient lucrative target…”

And/or easy pickings, since there apparently aren’t even the most rudimentary anti-spam safeguards, and, according to some, other more serious security issues (that they seemingly responsibly enough don’t detail).

But, for sure, if Apple does something and it’s attached to the very popular iTunes software and store, and the initial membership drive is yoked to a major iTunes update, I think it’s a safe bet that you’re going to catch at least a few eyeballs with your spam.

Nemo

Nor does any other social network block spam.  See http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20015531-37.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20.  The choice is either to effectively block spam or let users from outside of iTunes both lead and follow and browse.  Neither Facebook, Google, or Twitter have made the decision to set up such effective spam filters that it blocks access.  Anyone can get on those other services by setting up a false account, and apparently, many spammers do exactly that.  Of course, Apple can do something to effectively block spam; it could only let users on Ping who have iTunes accounts, which, by the way, would be more effective than anything Facebook or Google could do, since neither of them require a credit card to create an account, and Apple may yet restrict Ping to iTunes account holders. 

But these are early days.  And who could have anticipated that Ping would be such an early success that Apple would have to consider doing more to block spam than is done on other social networks?  Id at supra.

daemon

Well, two million users was more than enough for Facebook, which has a threshold of a million connections as requiring a special contract, to block access from Ping.  So Facebook certainly regards two million as a lot.

LoL @ u Nemo!

Facebook shut down Ping syncing long before Ping got to the two million mark.

I’m pretty sure the order of events was:
Steve Jobs shows off Ping with Facebook connectivity
Zuck goes off all “WTF” and “SMB” on the live stream of Steve Jobs
Facebook shuts down Ping syncing
47 hours later Ping hits two million active users

daemon

But these are early days.  And who could have anticipated that Ping would be such an early success that Apple would have to consider doing more to block spam than is done on other social networks?  Id at supra.

Yes, such a huge social network success that people are rounding up the actual amount of users to the next million mark, and dismissing it out of hand.

Let me put it to you another way. There are now 160 million Ping accounts, less than 1% have been accessed in the last three days.

Nemo

Yes, it seems that Mark Zuckerberg was so confident that Ping would cross Facebook’s one million connection threshold that Facebook blocked access from Ping before that happened.  And, or course, Mark was right.

And dear daemon, it is others, not Apple, who say that Ping has gotten to two million users.  Apple’s official statement is that more than one million users have joined Ping.  See http://www.apple.com/hotnews/.  Apple hasn’t rounded up anything.

ks2problema

@Nemo

The article you linked to says nothing of the kind. In fact, in it security outfit Sophos singles out Ping because it didn’t include basic anti-spam protections.

Just because other sites’ anti-comment-spam measures are not foolproof or completely effective does not mean they don’t exist.

That said, anyone who would try to hold up something like a sleazy, insecure and sloppily architected site like MySpace as any kind of measure of security would have to be a bit of a fool, to be sure. Happily, other social sites are considerably more effective.

Basically, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, eh?

I am certainly not snowed by spam on the social sites I do regularly use. Although I still have serious qualms about their security.

Basically, anyone who puts sensitive info on any social site or uses social site private messaging for such info is playing with fire.

That said, there is a wide range in effective spam-filtering and prevention.

Nemo

From the Cnet article.  And I quote:  “Of course, comment spam has been swamping other social networks and blog sites for years. The spam messages hitting Ping are virtually the same ones that Sophos found have targeted Facebook, Google, and Twitter.”  http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20015531-37.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20.  Note particularly the last sentence of the quote:  “The spam messages hitting Ping are virtually the same ones that Sophos found have targeted Facebook, Google, and Twitter.”  If they are the same spam messages, then the anti-spam measures that Facebook, Google, and Twitter are using aren’t working.

ks2problema

Type does not equate to degree.

They’re certainly the type of spam that have attacked other socially enabled sites—but if you have any kind of footprint in the various soc media sites, you’ve probably noted that some are innundated and others are relatively spam free. For instance, while I’m not a huge Facebook fan, I have to say that I virtually never get spam there. Or another example: I’m a musician. I’m on a number of socially enabled music sites and on some, like SoundClick, I get rafts of spam. On others, like ReverbNation, I get almost none. It’s all the same type of spam, of course.

Different soc media sites have different strategies and tools of varying efficacy.

So, as noted,  type really does not  mean degree.

grin

Nemo

I am not aware of any report that states with detail the extent to which spam is a problem on Ping and how the instance of spam on Ping compares with spam on Facebook, Google, and/or Twitter.  So any view that there is a problem with spam on Ping that is greater in degree is certainly premature, if not utterly false.

ks2problema

Hi, Nemo

Hope the rest of your weekend was pleasant!

On to business. You really aren’t aware of those reports?

Because a quick News.Google on ‘ping spam’ just now turned up 1,392 articles apparently focused mainly on that, among them:

Spammers latch onto Ping to pump iPhone survey scams - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/09/03/ping_iphone_spam/

Apple Ping network slammed with spam - http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Horizons/2010/0903/Apple-Ping-network-slammed-with-spam

Spammers Quick to Embrace Ping, Security Firm Says - http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/03/spammers-quick-to-embrace-ping-security-firm-says/?src=busln

And so on for another 1300+ articles, give or take.


But—wait! There’s recent good news:


Apple removes spammers from iTunes Ping - http://www.networkworld.com/news/2010/090710-apple-removes-spammers-from-itunes.html?hpg1=bn

Cheers!

Nemo

Yeah, there are a lot of articles but not much in the way numerical data, which makes it impossible to compare the degree of the problem.  In any event, it is a moot point.  Today, Apple removed nearly all of the spam, which, as I predicted, Apple would do.  Apple has much more control over its platform in terms of being able to identify its genuine users, so the matter is done, and I suspect that it used that control and ability to identify iTunes customers to delete the spam.  So four days after the media ginned up this story, it’s over.  See http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/09/06/apple_cleans_up_spam_tweaks_interface_in_itunes_ping.html.

ks2problema

Well, whatever the extent of the problem was, kudos to Apple for apparently taking care of the problem so quickly!

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