Apple today launched a full-scale foray into social networking by announcing Ping, a music based social network built into the latest version of iTunes. With millions of loyal users of iTunes already in place that’s a fairly solid base from which to launch.
Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO said at the press launch “With Ping you can follow your favorite artists and friends and join a worldwide conversation with music’s most passionate fans.” The ability to link to artists who have a clear interest in building a relationship with fans through one of the biggest online revenue streams makes commercial sense and taps into the celebrity factor that has been a major driver for twitter in the last couple of years.
With your Ping profile you can also follow friends and let them follow you with the a link to what you’re all listening to and concerts that you’re going to. Ping will also be available on iPhones and the iPod touch.
“Ping is going to be really popular, very fast, because 160m people can turn on as soon as they want, starting today.” said Jobs. It is available immediately as part of iTunes 10 that can be downloaded at www.itunes.com.