It looks like the approximately five people who use Apple's Ping social network are going to have to find another place to talk about music.
Confirming an earlier rumour, Apple quietly confirmed that it is shutting down Ping, the music-focused social network in iTunes, at the end of the month. News of the shutdown came after Apple revealed a new version of iTunes with greater social media integration.
"Ping will no longer be available as of September 30," Apple wrote in a message on the Ping iTunes page. "Thank you for your interest in Ping. We are no longer accepting new members."
A report surfaced back in June that Apple would be removing Ping from future versions of iTunes. That came after Tim Cook said at the D10 tech conference that he didn't know what the future held for the iTunes-based social service.
Meanwhile, the next major version of iTunes, scheduled to be released in October, includes more sharing options for Facebook and Twitter - both of which are baked into iOS 6. With the new iTunes, users will be able to "like" songs, and share their music buys on Facebook and Twitter.
Steve Jobs unveiled Ping at Apple's September 2010 music event, describing it as a "social music discovery." The service was released as part of iTunes 10 and was meant to be like Facebook and Twitter meets iTunes, Jobs said at the time.
The service never really caught on, though. In recent years, Facebook has announced deals with various music companies, like Spotify and Rdio, making Ping all the more irrelevant. According to an October 2010 report, Apple wanted to integrate Ping with Facebook Connect, but they couldn't broker a deal. Jobs apparently said Facebook had "onerous terms that we could not agree to."
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