It was kinda bothering me till now why did not Apple take the band wagon of “Social” for their iTunes. In fact in my opinion, that is the first place where the “Social Graphs” play a major role. iTunes had all the necessary ammo for launching Ping a long time ago… why now?
Before I jump on to my views on “Ping – why now?” – it is important to see what more does the iTunes do for the existing users – Steve Jobs said that it is “Facebook and Twitter meets iTunes” – what does that mean? as said Ping seem to do discovery, followership, concert listings etc., – but the key question is what more? when all of these can still be done in existing platforms? – Is it going to be yet another platform where the noise is more than the value or is it going to be real value to the music lovers connecting with their friends and talk about just music.
I was reading a very interesting post on social graphs by Chris Dixon – now going by the graphs that Chris mentioned, which graph does Ping fall into ? If Ping takes the route of endorsement graph ( which it seems to take at this point of time) it has to stand out only on its distributable content, on the other hand, if it takes the route of Taste based graph ( I see that it would happen with a 70% probability ) – what does that mean to the taste based recommendation engines like Tastekid etc.,
Now to the very question of “Ping – Why now?” – I see predominantly two reasons
1. iTunes currently has a saturated monetization model – now influence based music purchases based on friends likes / dislikes – what does that mean to Apple? – well interesting monetization models can be striked with the content producers for the most popular categories of music
2. This is just a opener for Apple’s intent to drive into social intelligence – what more to come is BIG QUESTION.