Apple this week announced their iTunes social networking service called Ping. While we all know how social networks normally starts by connecting to other networks and sharing contacts. Apple doesn’t seem to be very forth coming sharing.
And facebook isn’t that happy to share this one way relationship as well.
Steve Jobs was surprisingly candid with All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher yesterday — he reportedly told her that both Facebook and Apple had spoken about integrating more closely with the new iTunes social network Ping, but Facebook asked for "onerous terms that we could not agree to" regarding Facebook friends connecting on Ping.
He didn’t elaborate, obviously, but you can see in Facebook’s public documentation that Apple probably wouldn’t have appreciated handing any more of its network over to Facebook than it did. All Ping seems to be at this point is a system of "liking" certain content (specifically on the iTunes Store, to the frustration of many of us who want to do it directly from our personal library of music), and if Facebook required that all of the "like" buttons went their way, you can see why Jobs wouldn’t agree.
Turns out that even after Ping’s launch, things got even more fractious between the two companies — Apple did kick off Ping with the option to add friends with Facebook Connect, but Facebook blocked access when it was discovered that Apple wasn’t playing by the rules. It’s actually an open service, unless Facebook decides that it isn’t, and apparently Apple’s Ping network was an unwelcome guest with a lot of traffic since Apple didn’t come to terms with FB ahead of time. Apple removed the service from Ping, but you’ll still see some notes around suggesting you can bring in friends from Facebook.
So. Looks like Ping is already making a splash with much larger social networks. If Apple can build up its network without using Facebook’s services, it seems much less likely that they’ll find a way to share users in the future. As you can see above, Facebook is still implemented on iTunes, in the form of sharing albums and songs that you like, but it’s completely separate from what’s been built for Ping.