Facebook May Be Blocking Ping

Apple showed off basic Facebook integration in its new music-focused Ping social networking service, but that feature went missing shortly after users got ahold of iTunes 10. The reason Ping users lost the ability to search for friends on Facebook may be because Facebook chose to block access to that feature, according to AllThingsD.

When Apple CEO Steve Jobs showed off Ping during the company’s music-related media event on September 1, iTunes 10 seemed to include the ability to search user’s Facebook accounts for potential friends. Once Ping was actually available, however, the Facebook search option mysteriously disappeared for the few users that seemed to have access to it.

According to Mr. Jobs, Apple and Facebook discussed the possibility of collaborating, but Apple ultimately walked away from the negotiations over “onerous terms that we could not agree to.”

Now it appears that Apple went ahead with its plan to include Facebook friend searching in Ping, only to be blocked once the service went live, according to unnamed sources familiar with the situation. Once Apple realized Ping had been blocked from accessing Facebooks APIs coders pulled the feature out of iTunes.

For its part, Facebook seems open to working out an agreement with Apple. “Facebook and Apple have cooperated successfully in the past to offer people great social experiences and we look forward to doing so in the future,” the company said.

Since both companies seem to have different ideas on what constitutes an acceptable agreement, it may be some time before Facebook and Apple finish hammering out a deal.