Ping to ping out of existence

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Apple's reportedly planning to ditch Ping, its social network for music, in the next release of iTunes later this year.

Apple launched the music discovery service in 2010, but it was never hugely popular. While more than a million users signed up in the first 48 hours, interest quickly declined dramatically, and it's received little attention from the company since.

It lacked Facebook integration - a major omission - because facebook's terms were apparently too onerous. And, thanks to somewhat lax filtering systems, it had a reputation for being riddled with spam. In addition, many users saw it as a sales tool for the iTunes store, rather than as a service in its own right.

At the D10 conference last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that the service wasn't performing as expected and might be set for the chop. "We tried Ping, and I think the customer voted and said 'this isn't something that I want to put a lot of energy into'," he said.

Now, according to All Things Digital's sources, it plans to kill the service off altogether, instead letting users rely on Twitter and Facebook.

While it still appears in iOS 6, announced earlier this week, the company has improved its integration with Facebook considerably. Given the company's existing Twitter functionality, Ping is now pretty redundant, and is likely to disappear from the final version of iOS 6 completely.