Facebook Doesn’t Make Cut, iTunes X Goes Social Networking Alone

 Apple’s new iTunes X brings some new features to the iTunes system, most notable ‘Ping’—a social network. Wait what? Yes, a social network on a closed, paid music, software, television, movie and book store which already has your credit card number and preferences stored away. Welcome to the World of Jobs.

What is actually most surprising is that Ping was originally meant to interact closely with Facebook but the release shown has practically no Facebook interlinking. CEO Steve Jobs has admitted that Facebook’s terms were simply unacceptable. It looks like Apple is going alone here.

With the new iTunes X user interface looking very similar to FaceBook’s including color scheme, discussions between the two companies most likely continued until quite recently. Apple, unable to make a deal it felt was in its best interests, decided to say no and didn’t have time or desire to change the appearance. If anything, Facebook users will feel comfortable on it.

The also included streaming rentals are the technical and business model advancement that sits behind the social networking features and bring another potential revenue source to the company.

So what is Apple’s game here? Why would it enter social networking? Apple’s recent launch of its own advertisement platform probably has something to do with it. What’s better than social marketing? Social marketing on your own, closed social network. It’s like a store where all your friends hang out and recommend music to each other.

As Android moves towards its own music store and the BlackBerry gets a new app store, Apple is plunging ahead since it already controls both of these markets. Of course, the new movie and television show rentals will be bringing in plenty of cash. But there is no guarantee that people will use Ping. Though who does not like to talk music?

We will have to wait for the next few months to see how Ping fairs, but the potential is definitely there. Plus, its inclusion into iOS will certainly expand is user base beyond just iTunes X users. Let me know if you are going to be going on Ping and how you feel about it. What exactly did Facebook demand that Apple had to refuse?

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