back to article Apple's Ping has fatal pong, says CEO

Apple's attempt to build social networking features into iTunes has failed, CEO Tim Cook has admitted. Speaking at the All Things D conference - D is for 'digital', apparently, and not 'deceased' - Cook said Apple had yet to decide the fate of the feature-cum-service. “We tried Ping and I think the customer voted and said this …


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  1. dotdavid


    "and Spotify now only accepts new signups using Facebook's authentication."


    I've yet to work out why music *has* to be social anyway. Is it because "social" is The Next Big Moneymaking Opportunity? I've successfully managed to stop Spotify splurging all of the tracks I listen to onto my Facebook wall (or timeline, or whatever it is called this week) - but to do that I had to selectively revoke enough permissions to prevent this and not enough to make Spotify think it isn't properly "linked" to Facebook.

    If the feature were optional fair enough, but I for one don't want to spam my friends with up-to-the-minute updates about what music I'm listening to. Even if I did, I'd want to share it with those friends that I knew had similar tastes to me. And I certainly wouldn't join Spotify if I wasn't already a member just to get this feature.

    Don't these companies think things through at all?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Spotify

      Spotify also sends me an e-mail everytime one of my Facebook buddies signs up.

      This means that they have splurged my full contacts list and are keeping them stored on their servers...

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Spotify

      Not just Spotify but Netflix too. I find it annoying enough that Netflix tells other members of the family or visitors to the house what we're watching, let alone telling complete strangers. At least it's optional but the question is why is it there at all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Spotify

        That's why I set my netflix up without my facebook details. When I cancelled after the months trial as there was very little content I would watch I included 'too much integration with facebook' (can't remember the exact wording they give) as one of the reasons for leaving

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Netflix

        @ I find it annoying enough that Netflix tells other members of the family or visitors to the house what we're watching, let alone telling complete strangers

        Yeah, especially when it's gay porn or troma!!

        We're watching Lesbian Vampire Killers (but ironically, darlings)

    3. Gil Grissum

      Re: Spotify

      Not really, no they don't.

      Or at least they don't, while sober. I'm not going to use Spotify if it's doing that. I'm a musician and I promote my music on my Facebook band site with Soundclick and Reberbnation, but that doesn't spam my friends. I wouldn't use anything that spams my friends. I've reduced my usage of Facebook to the point where I don't get notifications unless someone wants to chat or sends me a message. I just don't need to be constantly innundated with anyone's status updates. Friends I need to hear from know to text me if it's that important.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Spotify

      Just a FYI RE: Spotify you can disable the posting etc in Spotify preferences.

      1. dotdavid

        Re: Spotify

        "Spotify you can disable the posting etc in Spotify preferences."

        As far as I can tell you can enter a "private listening" mode if you like which resets when you restart Spotify.

        I didn't think there was a permanent option, but I'll double-check later.

    5. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Spotify

      >>I've yet to work out why music *has* to be social anyway

      Well it is to make money, but music IS social in real life too. You tell your mates about new bands, share memories of great gigs, relive the past when you hear certain songs, etc.

      1. P. Lee

        Re: Spotify

        Music isn't social, people are social. Listening to music through headphones or while sitting alone at your computer isn't social. A massive corporate keeping track of what you are doing and blurting it out isn't social, its just creepy.

        WOPR knew the answer: "The only winning move is not to play."

  2. Ralph B

    We All Make Mistakes

    Well, I'm glad to see that this article contained no mention of your standard "Foxconn-rebrander" unfunny joke. Have you finally realized that this moniker could be equally inaccurately applied to most other hi-tech sellers?

    “We tried Foxconn-rebrander and I think the reader voted and said this isn’t something I want to put a lot of energy into," the scavenger-themed journo chief said.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: We All Make Mistakes

      Nope, Foxconn-rebrander still in the style guide.


      1. J. R. Hartley

        Re: We All Make Mistakes

        Is Web2.0rhea still in the style guide?? Haven't seen it mentioned in ages. Ping is a fine example of it.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        Re: We All Make Mistakes

        HA! Style. The designers, editors and readers of this site wouldn't know style if it hit the them in face with cold kippers while wearing a t-shirt saying "Hi, my name is Style..."

  3. TRT Silver badge


    Not facebook. I'm begging you, not Facebook. I promise to start using Ping so long as you don't.

  4. Lallabalalla
    Thumb Up

    D is for 'digital', apparently, and not 'deceased'


  5. HP Cynic

    I've never even heard of it but I like that Cook was honest about it's status instead of the usual corporate double talk...

  6. ThomH

    Thank goodness for that

    But in addition to killing Ping can we please have a disentanglement of the music player from the thing that archives and synchronises apps? Even on a Mac where it performs reasonably, iTunes is a usability mess.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But iTunes is fine?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If people want a truly fantastic fluid smartphone experience with excellent social networking features baked in from the start then they should go for Windows Phone 7.5

    The iPhone interface is looking VERY dated now it's boring

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tried one...

      Couldn't mount the internal flash drive over USB, couldn't shut off services that were hogging the memory, couldn't selectively turn off bits of the damn "baked in" social networking features. Couldn't even copy and paste in email. Brought it back and exchanged it for a new Android phone which actually works, despite its "boring" interface.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton


    3. asdf

      lol good one

      Enjoy your cheap plastic Nokia Lumia with the few hundred other people that actually paid for it (as opposed to thousands being begged to take it by the M$ marketing drones).

    4. PaulR79

      *coughsplutter* Hahahhaha! Good one..

      Wait... you're serious?! In your opinion a big grid of small icons is dated but a small grid of big icons, sorry 'live' tiles, isn't? Ignoring the laughable excuse for notifications of "30 minutes background updates or nothing!" I know Windows Phone is relatively slick but background tasks, app switching etc is far from fluid. The lack of customisation is jarring too and I just can't get used to it. iPhone is what it is and that's pretty simple to use but again that comes at the price of customisation. Relatively recent features like having different wallpapers and the copie.... I mean innovative new notifications, add to it but it still lags far behind what Android offers.

      To clarify my opinion I prefer Android and own several Android phones with the latest being the One X, a budget Android tablet with ICS hacked onto it (Advent Vega), a Samsung Omnia 7 with Mango on it, a 1st gen. iPod Touch and the 'new' iPad. No single device is perfect and I can say that even with my preference for Android.

      1. Bob Vistakin

        Re: *coughsplutter* Hahahhaha! Good one..

        I find watching these two videos regarding build quality quite informative:

  9. Silverburn

    I was always wondering why Apple thought it's own music-centric social service would be able to compete with facebook et al.

    It would have been better to offer the "social service" as an anchor, and provide a list of compatible social services via plugin or something (ie like search provider in Firefox)

    Then again not providing a f*ing pointless social service at all and working on performance and stablity of itunes would have been the best option...

  10. Tim Jenkins

    "Apple would work more closely with Facebook"

    Trans: "We're planning to buy them after their their first public quarterlies with some loose change we found under Steve's futon, thus creating iFace"

    1. Milo Minderbinder

      Re: "Apple would work more closely with Facebook"

      "...thus creating iFace".

      And if they subsequently buy Palm they can create iPalm.

      That would allow iTards to then iFace-iPalm when appropriate.

      How (i)Nice (R).

      <== Finally settled on Smiley here, rather than Joke Alert or Troll, but boy! was it a hard decision.

      1. Goat Jam

        Re: "Apple would work more closely with Facebook"

        Surely you mean iPalm-iFace, yes?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bloody Social!

    Seriously, why the hell does every single online service these days need to be tied to this whole "Social Networking" crap. Even worse still, why does every major company insist on trying to roll their own Social Network when no one stands a chance against Facebook.

    Just because you can design a phone, have some market share and a boat-load of cash doesn't mean your going to instantly succeed in the Social space, no matter how many Hipsters you try to attract.

    Facebook has the critical mass adoption levels, it's that reason that has effectively killed Google+ and everything else. Why create accounts on rival services when all your friends are on Facebook?

    1. toadwarrior

      Re: Bloody Social!

      By your logic what was the point to create facebook when we had myspace. Hell why create anything once someone has made it? We can have one brand of car, one brand of computer. Anything else is just a waste of time.

      1. Stuart Elliott

        Re: Bloody Social!

        Well, other than the fact that MySpace was fucking hideous, looking like a throw back to the Geocities websites of the early 90s ?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        By my logic, when Facebook was created the Social scene was still fledgling and all the services out there were ordinary at best. The comment about MySpace looking like Geocities was right, it was crap.

        By my logic, these days anyone going against Facebook with a rival service better have a killer app in the pipeline because trying to gain enough critical mass to be successful is a Herculean challenge. Your just not going to get sign ups because no one else's friends are on there.

        By my logic, in the physical space, there are multiple brands of cars, computers, etc because all manufacturers can't be everywhere, they can't be everything to everyone. They also aren't free so price is a factor.

        Facebook is free, it's available everywhere, and all your friends use it. That's an impossible monopoly to beat.

    2. P. Lee

      Re: Bloody Social!

      Social is important because it brings a feeling of obligation to communicate with people, which brings page impressions which brings advertising revenue.

      Realistically, they know we don't care enough to pay for such a service.

  12. Winkypop Silver badge

    The machine that goes PING!

    Appears to be flat-lining.

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Silverburn


      Taking online advice from a man who posts his email address in the open, in unaltered form. Not wise.

      1. Goat Jam


        Mind you, his name could be contracted to Dick Cartledge so maybe we shouldn't be too surprised.

        I guess we should be thankful his surname isn't "Cheese"

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Do you want your mates to know you are listening to [insert embarrassing artist name] ??

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I make my music social... getting very drunk and blasting it out at 2am most nights. If you want to know what's on my playlist, just come to my trailer park. But avoid the dogs.

  16. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    I must have missed something

    From the article it is unclear how this is due to massive copyright theft by treetards and free huggers. Surely at least a paragraph is missing?

  17. ChrisInAStrangeLand

    I have a Spotify specific Facebook account just for this. They can spam Avery Fakename's wall full of shit to their heart's content.

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