I checked out Apple’s new social networking site Ping yesterday for what was my first, and probably last attempt at deciding whether it would be useful to me. There are a number of reasons why I think Ping will never really catch on:
1. It’s found within Apple iTunes, which some find difficult to navigate compared to regular websites.
2. There are already social networking sites for music lovers. Last.fm offers many of the same features that Ping does, without excluding certain artists (such as The Beatles)
3. Ping was billed as a sort of fusion between Facebook and Twitter, for music. What Apple doesn’t seem to get is that people can already talk about music on Twitter and Facebook. So why do they need Ping?
4. Ping was launched half complete. Actually, it was launched probably less than half complete, judging by the looks of things and reports from those who visited the site immediately after it was unveiled. As anyone working with the web and social media knows, once you’ve brought someone to your site and underwhelmed them, it’s tough to convince them to come back.
5. The name is sort of confusing. While social networking sites often seem to take ridiculous names that don’t exactly make it clear what they’re for, Ping just doesn’t really do it for me. More importantly, there already is a Ping.fm, which allows social networking users to update all their statuses at once.
Maybe I’m completely wrong. (If that’s the case, I’ll probably delete this post.) But something tells me that Ping just isn’t going to catch on. Social networking sites catch on strongest when they are taken up by individuals in a “grassroots” manner, not when a mega-corporation’s CEO tells the public what site they should use.