Much ado with iTunes Ping
So, I finally gave Apple’s new social network a try. iTunes Ping seems to be an attempt to connect music lovers and iTunes users, probably in the hopes of generating more music sales.
That part made sense, but once you signed up to Ping, it feels like you’re facing a blank wall.
Here are stuff you can do with Ping:
- Follow People
- Display Recent Activity on iTunes
- Post Updates on Purchases and Reviews
- Get Concert Alerts
Of course, there’s one major requirement needed — you have to have an iTunes account (not the iTunes software but a valid iTunes account).
Then, the problem starts there — iTunes still does not support the Philippines. You’ll need to have a US iTunes account (or some other country where iTunes is available).
That one single requirement alone has (probably) cut off 99.9% of the online population in the country.
The Concert Alerts sounds good but then, if you search Ping for your favorite bands, they are not there. Okay, maybe we can wait 6 months or a year until the network becomes populated and hopefully, more usable. Come to think of it, Facebook and Twitter didn’t enjoy an overnight success in the Philippines.
Ping is also tied up with iTunes. You just can’t go and use any computer, fire up a browser and go to a URL like ping.apple.com to check on your profile or network. Apple assumes you will always have your Macbook, iPhone, iPad with you whenever you want to login to Ping.
Apple’s very “controlling” policy on all-things-Apple doesn’t sit well in the realm of social media — one can’t even upload and view Profile Pictures in real-time. Apple has to review your photos first before making it public. Steve Jobs said it himself — “Freedom From Porn”. Not sure though how they are going to manually review all those 1 million accounts that have already been created.
The Ping idea makes good business sense — and I have no doubt Apple is going to make more money from all these social connections they’ve created around iTunes. I just thought the implementation was anything but compelling or attractive.