This morning when I woke-up, I found a huge brouhaha around Ping and Facebook. Apparently, these two aren’t BFFs anymore. There was some talk earlier that Facebook and Apple were working closely on a version of Ping. It was rumored that Facebook would provide the social layer to power the next generation iTunes experience.
Well, those rumors proved to be baseless. Apple decided to go with its iTunes membership as a way to jump-start its music social network. Yesterday, Steve Jobs told Kara Swisher there were issues between the two companies.
And Facebook is nowhere on Ping too. Currently, there is no linking, sharing or participation of any kind with Facebook–or Twitter or MySpace either–on Ping, which will work only on the iTunes software on computers, iPhones and iPods. When I asked Jobs about that, he said Apple had indeed held talks with Facebook about a variety of unspecified partnerships related to Ping, but the discussions had gone nowhere. The reason, according to Jobs: Facebook wanted “onerous terms that we could not agree to.”
Jobs did not elaborate on those troublesome terms and also would not say if Ping would incorporate Facebook Connect–which would make it much easier to find friends to share music with.“We could, I guess,” he shrugged. (AllThingsD).
I’m assuming this is about a bigger deal between the two companies and not just the problems many (including me) have observed with Ping and Facebook Connect. Last night before going to sleep, I downloaded iTunes 10 and set up my Ping account (more on that later.) As part of the set-up, I signed up with Facebook Connect so I could find my social graph, ready to recommend songs.
I wonder what happened last night — metaphorically speaking — of course! I woke up this morning, and expected to see Ping activity in my Facebook account, and well let’s just say, nothing is going on. The funny thing is, my Ping is still connected to Facebook Connect, though none of my actions are being sent to Facebook. There are no updates, no mention of artists I am following and absolutely nothing on the app’s wall. I see that I have 26 Facebook friends who are on Ping, but on Ping I find only one of those 26. The emptiness of the Ping’s application on Facebook is sort of like the stuff you leave behind when you break-up with someone and move out of their life.
I’m hoping that the Facebook Connect problems are temporary and a glitch. Otherwise, Ping would really suck and the big losers in this game of corporate one-upmanship are the consumers, who probably — like me– just want recommendations from our friends, then buy those tunes. As a long-time customer of Apple and its iTunes store, I’m severely disappointed that I can’t bring my pre-configured social graph to Ping. I hope Apple and Facebook both come to an agreement and kiss and make-up.