Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Social Music Mystery! What Happened to Apple's Ping-Facebook Connection?

Why isn’t Ping playing with Facebook? It’s Facebook’s fault, says Apple CEO Steve Jobs: The social network demanded “onerous terms” to connect with Apple’s social music play.

But clearly there’s more to the story.

Because while Facebook isn’t connected to Ping right now, it had been up through the service’s launch last night. And even for some time after that.

When Jobs demoed the service onstage yesterday, screenshots showed an ability to invite Facebook friends via the “Facebook Connect” service, as Business Insider’s Dan Frommer noted. And in an interview with Kara Swisher following the event, Apple marketing boss talked up the Facebook Connect option.

And, in fact, Apple’s promotional Ping page still mentions the ability to “find even more music fans with a quick search, by sending email invites, or by connecting to your Facebook account.”

And for a brief period after the service opened last night, new users did get a chance to invite friends via Facebook — you can still see the Facebook app page here.

I’m not sure that the service ever worked, though: When I tried the Facebook option, I got this puzzling error message: “We are unable to find any Facebook friends that you are not following on iTunes Ping. Check again soon.”

So. Anyone at Apple, or Facebook, want to clarify what happened?

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik