It's all about PING, the New Music Social Network (NuMu SocNet ?) built into iTunes 10. So, what's it like and does it pong ? Some people are already referring to it as the "MySpace" killer. You might remember MySpace as the social networking site that ruled the world before Facebook came and stole it's crown. By the way, Facebook should take note that such things can and do happen, although in other news I hear that diaspora* may not be the beast to do that. More on this later.
Myspace started off back in 2003 and now has a mere 66 million users. Part of the issue here has to be the owners. In 2005 Robert Murdoch bought it up for $580m and as a part of News International it probably gets unfairly labelled. Add to that the fact that Facebook saw an opportunity to offer some new and improved functionality which MySpace didn't and before you know it, they've slipped from the top spot to well down the league. However, they had the foresight to target a particular group of users - namely musicians and it's now regarded as the place for unsigned bands and singers to showcase their wares.
So is PING going to kill it off?? I shouldn't think so. At least not just yet. 66million users is a lot and their clearly happy with their online home. All the same, it will be an interesting time and I for one am intrigued to see how the take-up of PING will work out for the fruit of Cupertino.
This is what it looks like....
Interesting? Well, it will be when my profile picture has been approved... Now that must be an interesting job ?? I suppose they're being cautious so nothing that could be construed as offensive gets through. Once that's done and I start following people (and vice-versa) then I'm sure it will start to make a bit more sense.
It's also picked some of my recently played and rated music and displayed the artwork on my profile page and that seems to be about right - even if I am a bit 80's centric... I can't help it.
But wait - what's this?? I can no longer buy anything from iTunes because my card details are incorrect. Really? Most odd. Ahhhh... I see what's happening here. So because I've used my nickname for my PING account, my card details are now invalid as it's not the same name as my Billing Address. Now, this may not seem like a huge problem to most, but many people are better known by their Aliases online than their given name. As I don't have a credit card in my Nickname / Alias then I guess that's going to stop me using PING. Hmmmm... Perhaps there's a workaround that I have yet to discover.
To be able to call it as either a waste of time or a MySpace killer you need to have had some time at it, so it's too early to say. Give it a week or two and we might have a clearer picture, but in the mean time I think it's all out war amongst the NuMuSocNet set. (Trying saying that after you've been up all night singing)..
PS: One last breaking news item. It seems that Facebook and Apple have had a bit of a disagreement over the use of the Facebook API to access users data. Have a read of it over at AllThingsD