Ping! Until now, it’s been mere onomatopoeia, but Apple has given it a little more weight. Ping (a proper noun forever more) is the name of Apple’s new music-based social network program that operates out of iTunes.
It’s A Network For Music Lovers
With its specific focus on music, Ping allows users to follow their friends and favorite artists, keeping up to date on new releases, favorite songs, and concert dates. The New York Times makes sure to specify that, being a social networking site, Ping will have privacy controls that allow users to determine who has access to their information. Any iTunes user will be able to use the program, as long as they have installed the most current version of iTunes.
It’s Made Spending More Social
Over at Gigaom, they commend Apple’s stroke of genius: The company combined its products and community so seamlessly that communicating and purchasing are now one, integrated experience. Using music as a bonding point is nothing new—whole conversations and even entire relationships can be based on music preferences. But Apple relies on the loyalty of its customers and with Ping, these customers will come to rely on one another and their favorite company for news and opinions on music, and doubtlessly on everything else.
Remember That It’s A Product
Apple is a technological and marketing powerhouse. We’re not huge iTunes users (those 99 cent songs really add up!), but we can still marvel at the iconic nature of Apple’s products: The iPod, the iPad… if all 160 million of current iTunes users adopt Ping as their internet haunt of choice, we won’t be very surprised. But a word of caution: Apple is, and always has been, about making money for Apple. Ping is essentially a new way to keep us entertained as we click away our incomes. We’ll stick with the same advice our mothers gave us when we moved to the big city—have fun, but be careful.
Tell us in the comments: What music would you share on Ping?