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11/11/2010
01:12 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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Twitter Friends Apple's Ping

Apple's fledgling music-related social networking service Ping gets a boost from Twitter. Still no sign of Facebook support, though.

Apple debuted Ping in an iTunes update earlier this fall. The social network service, which lets users "Like" and share thoughts on iTunes music purchases, is built into directly Apple's iTunes software. One of the biggest gripes about Ping is its inability to play nice with the leading social networks, Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook was built into Ping when it launched, but disappeared quickly thereafter. It hasn't returned. After today, the Twitterati, at least, will have one less thing to gripe about, as Twitter and Ping have become friends.

Twitter points out that many of the 95 million Tweets fired off each day are about music that Twitter users are listening to, so this is a natural fit for the two services.

According to a blog post from Twitter, Ping accounts can now be linked to Twitter accounts. Once linked, people will be able to find their Twitter friends on Ping. To-date, finding friends who use Ping though the iTunes interface has been a serious pain.

Twitter explains, "Whenever you Post, Like, Review, or tell your friends why you purchased a song or album on Ping, this activity will also be tweeted to your Twitter followers -- complete with playable song previews and links to purchase and download music from iTunes."

Twitter users who click on items shared through Ping will see the relevant details of that song or album directly in their Twitter page. If they wish, they can listen to previews of the content shared. Twitter says that song previews are available to Twitter users in the 23 countries around the world that offer the iTunes Music Store.

The feature only works in the browser-based version of Twitter.com, and is not compatible with third-party Twitter programs, such as TweetDeck.

Integration with Twitter is something Apple should have nailed down from the onset, but I suppose later is better than never.

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