When Ping first came out, it didn’t seem too exciting. It first introduced the Facebook connect feature and soon thereafter it was removed after Facebook slapped Apple on the wrist for not getting permission first to use the API. It still could that feature so help connect with all your friends on FB that are using Ping rather then trying to manually and find all them. There also was the fact that only a small handful of artists had social profiles as well that it seem not so interesting. For Apple to roll out something so raw seemed out of place. They could have waited until more popular artists were connected to it.
I can see how Ping can take over MySpace music when it comes to mainstream artists. It is Apple and it has the following that MySpace doesn’t. Ping lets you follow artists, as well as photos they might post, videos and updates. It also posts tour dates and more. The “more” being all of your artist’s favorite music. That I think is a cool feature. Music recommendations from your artists that you of course can preview by mousing over and listening to thirty second clips. I for one am totally for a feature like that. Just as well as listening to all my friend’s recommended music. Finding new music is always exciting. As of now, there is still no feature to add your own bad. So hopefully in the future, those who have their music available on iTunes will also be able to create a band profile as well so they may sure their pics, music, updates and music recommendations.
When you think about it, both FB and iTunes have released Social Networking features recently that are still pretty much in development mode. Facebook places has nothing appealing about it right now, Ping has a little more potential and a little more to offer. Besides the fact that they have millions of subscribers already using their applications, they could have waited a little longer to develop before releasing. They both feel kind of rushed like they needed to prove something and jump into the competition head first. Only time can tell right how they both will do in the future. Ping really does have a lot of potential though and I would really like to see it grow and evolve over time. I’m excited to see more of my favorite artists join the ranks, including all my friends that also have music available on iTunes right now. iTunes has the right idea, just give it some time.
Just one small thing though, that new icon could have been designed so much better. I understand the alteration of the icon because of the shift to digital music, the removal of the disc. When it comes to branding and uniform feel, it just doesn’t feel right, come on Apple, you can do better.