Amidst its iPod and Apple TV announcements yesterday, Apple revealed a new version of iTunes that embeds social networking functions under the “Ping” brand. Ping allows friend and band following and certainly improves upon Apple’s previously weak efforts at social music discovery. Om thinks Ping hints at the future of social commerce. I think Apple’s missing an opportunity to weave Ping or its potential feeds or social graph info into other networks – it doesn’t connect to anything. Apple appears to want to eliminate the “social middleman,” perhaps because of “onerous” terms and conditions, but that may well cripple its potential.