Apple’s Ping and Twitter join forces

Microblogging website Twitter has agreed a deal to link its service with Apple’s music-oriented social network, Ping.

Apple's Ping and Twitter join forces

Apple announced the Ping project back in September, claiming the service was “Facebook and Twitter meets iTunes”, but neither service were tied in at launch, with Apple boss Steve Jobs describing Facebook’s deal requirements as “onerous”.

On Ping you can easily link to your Twitter account to instantly find Ping users among the people you already follow on Twitter

Ping operates within Apple’s iTunes, with the intention of letting people share their musical tastes – it is like a social-networking catalogue of musical likes and dislikes pointing to Apple’s music store.

Although Apple’s social-networking effort signed up a million users in its first two days, it can’t rival Twitter’s 175 million userbase for coverage, and commentators believe Ping is struggling to retain users.

Apple hopes the deal will bring Ping to a wider audience by piggybacking on Twitter.

“On Ping you can easily link to your Twitter account to instantly find Ping users among the people you already follow on Twitter,” the microblogging service said on the company blog.

“Once you’ve linked the accounts, whenever you Post, Like, Review, or tell your friends why you purchased a song or album on Ping, this activity will also be tweeted to your Twitter followers – complete with playable song previews and links to purchase and download music from iTunes.”

Despite the early success, Ping doesn’t appear to have captured the public imagination, possibly because users must first sign up for an iTunes account, which requires a credit card.

This requirement rules out most children, who, according to Facebook’s figures, are the fastest growing sector in social networking.

Teething problems

Whether or not the link-up proves popular remains to be seen, however, with Twitter users already complaining about the way the service works, apparently requiring iTunes to start up for each song preview.“Ping integration with Twitter? Launch iTunes every time you need to preview a song? Big fail,” wrote angusnb.

There were also concerns among Twitter users that the service could overload Twitter feeds with irrelevant Ping posts and that the integration looked as though it had been rushed. “I just tried out the iTunes Ping to Twitter auto-post feature, and it looks like garbage. They didn’t even use an URL shortener,” said thornybleeder.

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