Apple's Second Chance At Social - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

03:19 PM
Connect Directly

Apple's Second Chance At Social

Ping, Apple's social network for music, has proven to be a disappointment, but the company's Game Center social network looks like it's bound for glory.

Apple WWDC 2012: 17 Cool Innovations
Apple WWDC 2012: 17 Cool Innovations
(click image for slideshow)
Apple has been slow to embrace social media, but the company's latest operating systems, OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6, suggest that's changing.

At its Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday, Apple said that OS X Mountain Lion will be available in July for $20 and that iOS 6, now available in beta form for developers, will ship in the fall. Game Center, the social gaming network that Apple introduced in iOS 4 in the fall of 2010, will be enhanced in iOS 6 with new social features and will be made available in OS X Mountain Lion, too.

Apple's first foray into social networking, the Ping social network in iTunes, is widely considered a failure.

At the All Things Digital conference in May, Apple CEO Tim Cook conceded that Apple's customers mostly didn't want to participate in Ping.

[ What else did Apple do at WWDC? Read Apple iOS 6: Best New Features. ]

"We tried Ping, and I think the customer voted and said 'This isn't something that I want to put a lot of energy into,'" Cook explained, adding, "Will we kill it? I don’t know. We'll look at that."

But Game Center, released only a week after Ping, turned out better. At WWDC, Scott Forstall, senior VP of iOS software at Apple, said there are 130 million Game Center accounts and that two-thirds of the top 100 iOS games have some level of Game Center integration. So more than a quarter of the 400 million people with iTunes App Store accounts participate in Game Center.

Thanks to the enhancements coming to Game Center, the service is likely to become more useful to developers and more compelling for users. Once Game Center arrives on Apple desktop and notebook computers next month via OS X Mountain Lion, users will be able to experience cross-platform game play between iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Macs.

And iOS 6 will up the ante further through better Facebook integration, which will allow the posting of Game Center achievements, for example. It will also add the ability to send game-related challenges to friends. Made more visible via Facebook, Game Center should keep growing.

New apps promise to inject social features across entire workflows, raising new problems for IT. In the new, all-digital Social Networking issue of InformationWeek, find out how companies are making social networking part of the way their employees work. Also in this issue: How to better manage your video data. (Free with registration.)

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Apprentice
6/14/2012 | 7:02:53 PM
re: Apple's Second Chance At Social
As soon as I saw Ping I thought to myself that it wouldn't last. Who wants to comment on the music their listening to? Who spends that much time in iTunes to make Ping worthwhile? Maybe if it also linked to other social feeds then it might have had some staying power.
IT Spending Forecast: Unfortunately, It's Going to Hurt
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/15/2020
Helping Developers and Enterprises Answer the Skills Dilemma
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  5/19/2020
Top 10 Programming Languages in Demand Right Now
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  4/28/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
The State of IT & Cybersecurity Operations 2020
Download this report from InformationWeek, in partnership with Dark Reading, to learn more about how today's IT operations teams work with cybersecurity operations, what technologies they are using, and how they communicate and share responsibility--or create risk by failing to do so. Get it now!
Current Issue
Key to Cloud Success: The Right Management
This IT Trend highlights some of the steps IT teams can take to keep their cloud environments running in a safe, efficient manner.
Flash Poll