Remember the Ping network that Apple integrated into its iTunes software? No? Then you are not the only one. Introduced in iTunes 10 in 2010 Ping was Apple's attempt to create a social network of their around around iTunes and Apple products. The product does not seem to have been overly successful, considering that Apple yesterday announced that Ping will be discontinued on September 30.
The replacement? Facebook of course with its like and share system. Apple iTunes users from October will notice a deep integration of the world's most populated social networking site in their software. After linking a Facebook account to their iTunes account, users can start to share and like media in iTunes. If you ever wanted your Facebook friend's to know that you are a huge fan of Justin Bieber, then your time has come to do that from within iTunes. It is not really clear how this will play out in detail, and if there will be options to proudly announce to your friends which music you play in iTunes.
If that is the case, it may certainly annoy part of the social networking sites user base. Then again, Facebook users are bombarded with likes and shares on a daily basis, and some more may not make that much of a different to them.
The move is beneficial for Apple and Facebook. Apple can tap right into Facebook's near billion of users and potential to sell even more stuff to even more people. App developers and media companies too will benefit from this, as it gives them another source of traffic and promotion that just was not there before in concerns to iTunes.
Facebook on the other hand benefits from the integration as well. First through the creation of content on Facebook when users announce new likes and shares to the world, and then of course through advertisement.
Apple iPhone 4s or newer users get another feature exclusive to Apple: the option to update the Facebook status using Apple's voice-powered assistant Siri.