Short of your old Friendster or Myspace accounts, Ping is probably your least-used social network. Heck, if bits and bytes could collect dust, Ping sure would have on my machine.
So my guess is that not even the biggest Apple fan will get too indignant about Business Insider listing Ping amongst their fifteen biggest flops in the tech industry in 2010.
Business Insider’s case against Ping is pretty indisputable. Launched to great fanfare, Ping was a disappointment almost from the get-go, as last minute negotiations to integrate Ping with Facebook fell through. Without that key feature, Ping use has steadily declined… so much so that Apple themselves seemed to feel the need to send out an e-mail last month, reminding people that Ping actually still exists.
So yeah, Ping’s a dud now, but you know what? I don’t expect that to last: in fact, I think Ping getting more useful is only a handshake between Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg away. Let’s not forget that iTunes has launched underwhelming features before, only to steadily improve them overtime until they are actually useful (for example, Genius). Also, let’s not forget that Apple’s ultimate aspirations with iTunes is to bring it to the cloud: at that point, Ping’s social networking underpinnings are going to be orders of magnitude more important to the iTunes experience. We just need to give Ping some time.