All posts in Ping

Ping Gets Smaller URLS for Twitter Integration

Ping gets URL shortener for Twitter. Perfect for when you buy Pearl Jam’s Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town.

One of the problems with Ping’s Twitter integration was it’s incredibly long URLS. Now when you’re buying all your Beatles songs, you can share that information with a smaller url via Twitter.

Follow this article’s author, Roberto Baldwin, on Twitter.



Why Facebook Didn't Take the iTunes Ping Deal

Yesterday, we reported that Apple and Twitter had entered into a partnership whereby Ping users could have their likes, updates, and purchases tweeted using their Twitter account, and users on the social micro-blogging service would be able to listen to song previews right from the Twitter web interface. But, why did Apple not choose Facebook over Twitter? After all, there are many more Facebook users than Twitter.

Apple had been eying Facebook since the beginning, but perhaps due to terms in the agreement between the two companies, that deal didn’t last.

Today, however, Fast Company is giving us some insight into why the Twitter-Ping deal worked and why Facebook may have been hesitant to accept Apple’s offers.

According to the blog, Facebook may have been hesitant to give Apple access to it’s over half-billion users. Even though iTunes users trust Apple enough to give them credit card information — something, the blog notes, no social network has been able to achieve up to this point.

Fast Company also notes that Twitter and Ping may have been the best fit for both companies, because of minimalist design of Twitter, and the fact that Twitter has yet found a good way to make money on the social networking service. With this partnership, you may soon be able to purchase songs right from your browser in Twitter, which may in turn give Twitter a cut of the iTunes purchases.

You can read more information about Fast Company’s take on the Ping deal on their website.

Facebook Executive “Very Confident” on Ping Deal with Apple

Ping Facebook Connect
(Image courtesy of Engadget)

It’s now been a full month since Apple launched iTunes 10 with the Ping social networking service, and there’s still no sign of Facebook coming back. But at least one Facebook executive seems confident that a deal is yet to come with Cupertino after all.

AppleInsider is reporting
that Facebook’s chief technology officer is “very confident” that the social networking giant will find a way to integrate with Apple’s own music-themed social network, Ping. The comment was noted by Silicon Alley Insider during Facebook exec Bret Taylor’s dinner with the media in New York this week.

Taylor’s confidence comes on the heels of reports that Apple and Facebook negotiated for at least 18 months prior to the launch of Ping and still couldn’t come to terms. Industry insiders have painted Facebook as “abrasive” during their negotiations with other companies, and Apple CEO Steve Jobs himself claimed the company demanded what he called “onerous terms” for integrating Facebook into Ping.

Despite the Facebook CTO’s promising comment, Taylor “did not provide a timeframe for a deal to be struck,” according to AppleInsider.

Early users of iTunes 10 may recall that Facebook was indeed integrated into the new Ping service at launch, and it was also featured during the media event where the social network was first introduced on September 1. Despite an agreement, Apple included a Facebook Connect login interface, but the social network apparently wasn’t happy about that and blocked Ping from using its API, which then prompted Apple to remove Facebook connectivity entirely — and it has yet to return after a month.

The often-maligned Ping appears to be slowly getting its footing — last weekend brought iTunes 10.0.1, which provided deeper integration between the social network and a user’s music library, as well as the ability to “Like” or “Post” about your own songs, provided that they were part of Apple’s huge catalog to begin with.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Record Labels Shut Out of Ping Introduction?

Ping Lady GaGa

By now we’ve all heard about the drama between Apple and Facebook over the introduction of Ping back on September 1. Apparently the drama doesn’t end there, as a new report sheds some light on Cupertino effectively leaving the record labels out in the cold prior to the launch of iTunes 10.

Fast Company is reporting
on the troubled launch of Ping, the social network built into iTunes 10 which Apple introduced at the beginning of September. Almost immediately after its launch, Ping was mired in drama — first with Facebook (or rather, the lack thereof) and next by users, who thus far have been mostly unimpressed with the service and its lackluster selection of artists.

If you thought you were underwhelmed, the record labels appear to be downright “disappointed,” according to several music industry insiders. “It’s not a game changer,” explains one source, who claims the record labels are simply “indifferent” to the iTunes-based social network.

Of course, that could have a lot to do with being given the cold shoulder in the days leading up to the unveiling of Ping. While Facebook at least reportedly had 18 months of negotiation, the record labels had none — they apparently found out about Ping at the same time the rest of us did.

“In keeping with their general practice of keeping things really, really tight, [Apple] didn’t tell anyone about Ping,” the source reveals. “I’d say that you had a few annoyed people.”

Apple sidestepped the often-cranky record labels and “went straight to management,” cuddling up with artists such as Lady Gaga and Jack Johnson to get their profiles on Ping for launch day. It appears to be taking forever to get additional artists added to the service, particularly for independents — a situation that may not get much better in the short term, as Apple is creating profiles for musicians one at a time.

“Apple needs to manually create each page on their end, send us the login and then we populate it,” explains the music industry source.


Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Former Apple Employee Hits Ping On The Head

Sometimes after a long weekend or extended vacation, it can be next to impossible to get back into a productive state of mind without a bit of prodding. As we slowly push our brains uphill on this post-Labor Day Tuesday, it’s comforting to know that at least one person out there is willing to do a bit of thinking for us. Let’s give a collective “thank you” to software engineer and former Apple employee Matt Drance for providing us some substantial food for thought. In turning your direction to Drance’s blog, AppleOutsider, you’ll find a well stated argument for why Ping–already a hot button topic in the Apple community–could very well end up being one of Apple’s most popular and influential products.

Drance argues that music has always been a social experience. We share, compare and debate the music we love with those closest to us. For all of the young service’s perceived shortcomings, he states an elegant argument, for how Ping is already leveraging this fact to make Apple boatloads of money to add to their already mighty Cha-Ching armada.

Drance’s post on the topic, while not lengthy, manages to raise some excellent points as to where the service could be headed and forecasts that, based on Ping’s initial success, Apple’s next logical step could be to incorporate it into the iBook Store or App Store. Take the time to check it out. Your holiday addled noggin will thank you for it.



Facebook May Have Blocked API Access from Ping

It appears the mystery as to why Facebook Connect was available, and then not available, has a little something to do with blocked API access. According to sources at All Things D, Facebook denied Apple’s Ping access to the application programming interface that would allow users to search for their friends, which left them with only a few friends willing to respond to their emailed Ping requests. Normally, this kind of API access is open and doesn’t require any kind of permission, but when it’s being accessed numerous times at a very rapid rate (like, say, 160 million at a time), it’s natural for Facebook to put a screeching halt to the requests and focus on protecting their users data.

Other sources added that Apple went and allowed access to the Facebook APIs anyway, and that made Facebook block it because that kind of access violated its terms of service. The same TOS that holds on to our precious photos and embarrassing wall posts.

Earlier today, Facebook said that it ” believes in connecting people with their interests and we’ve partnered with innovative developers around the world who share this vision. 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.”

It’s all hearsay at this moment in time. Apple still included the ability to find Facebook friends in its demo at the music event, but even though our emails are teasing that Facebook Connect is possible, it’s just not happening. We’ll keep you updated as this story progresses.

Follow this article’s author, Florence Ion, on Ping.


iPhone Spam Strikes Facebook and Ping

Facebook iPhone spam security message
(Image courtesy of 9to5Mac)

They may not be bosom buddies at the moment, but Facebook and Ping are together in feeling the pain of spam — in this case, the kind that touts supposedly “free” iPhones, as if there could ever be such a thing.

9to5Mac is reporting
on the spamming attack that struck Facebook last weekend and is currently hitting Apple’s new Ping service, launched on Wednesday. Both services appear to be lucrative targets for spammers to rein in new victims, in this case by offering a “free” iPhone for those foolish enough to get trapped. (Spoiler: There is no such thing as a “free” iPhone.)

“For a few hours on Sunday, there was a spamming incident on Facebook,” reads the message posted for affected users by the site’s security team. “During this time, photos (mostly of supposedly “free” iPhones) were posted to some people’s Walls, including yours. We’ve removed the photo from your Wall and fixed the issue that allowed spammers to do this. We’re sorry about the photo, but can assure you that did this did not affect the security of your account in any way.”

Be that as it may, it doesn’t resolve the question of how the spam wound up there to begin with, according to Internet security firm Sophos. Apparently “thousands of users” had their Facebook Walls affected by the iPhone spam, and now Apple’s Ping appears to be the next target in their sights.

Sadly, for now it appears that Ping users will have to grin and bear it. “Ping implements no spam or URL filtering,” explains Sophos, who claims that the service — less than 48 hours old — is “drowning in scams and spams.”

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter