Apple tried, but it turns out its customers weren’t interested in forming new social connections specifically around iTunes music. So, just two years after it was introduced, Apple is officially retiring its Ping social network. The service is shutting down on Sept. 30, according to a message posted Wednesday in the Ping section of iTunes.
This is not a huge surprise. Ping never gained much traction, and was hurt by its lack of Facebook integration from the get-go.
CEO Tim Cook hinted the end was near for Ping when he spoke at the D10 conference in June, when he said, “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.’”
This doesn’t mean Apple has given up on social. Since the Ping disaster, Apple has heavily integrated Twitter into iOS and Mac OS X, and Facebook into iOS 6. As Cook put it at the same D conference earlier this year, “Apple doesn’t have to own a social network, but does Apple have to be social? Yes.”