Why did Apple pull Facebook from Ping at the last minute?

People are searching for reasons about why the new iTunes social network Ping did offer Facebook Connect support, but pulled it at the last second.

Apple's new musical social network Ping has pulled support for Facebook.

Alongside announcements on the iPod nano, shuffle, touch and Apple TV, Steve Jobs revealed a new social feature called Ping. This is now integrated into iTunes, allowing you to connect with artists and bands, as well as check out what others are listening to.

But, despite appearing on the screenshots in last night's demo to the press, today Ping doesn't offer support for Facebook.

The Business Insider pointed at reports of Facebook Ping connectivity. Cult of Mac has had users reporting success at using Facebook Connect, and there's the presence of a non-working Ping Facebook application on Facebook itself. A mention of Facebook is on the Ping promo page and even on screen shots from Steve Job's keynote.

Facebook connectivity would have made Ping much useful, as you would have been able to import friends as well as export Ping activity. There is no Twitter connectivity either, which means the only way you can invite people is through email, or typing their name.

Steve Jobs said that iTunes has a user base of 160 million people. But that's still dwarfed by the numbers on Facebook.

According to All Things Digital, Steve Jobs said that Apple did have talks with Facebook over Ping partnerships, but discussions went nowhere. He was quoted as saying Facebook wanted "onerous terms that we could not agree to."

So what's going on? Either there has been some kind of clash between the two companies, with reports suggesting Facebook execs weren't particularly happy with Ping's similar blue colour scheme. Or it could simply be a last-minute technical hitch.

We doubt that Facebook would see Ping as a direct challenger. Facebook is just too big now. MySpace is the social network that has much more to worry about.

So why has Apple decided not to connect a huge number of potential 'Pingers' using Facebook? It's mysterious. What do you reckon?

Image credit: Apple

 

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