Anyone remember Ping — Apple’s “music-oriented social network,” the hot new thing back in 2010?
No, we’re not surprised if you don’t. It flopped — hard — and shut down after just a couple years. Apple seems to have ceded the social media landscape to Facebook since then.
Maybe that’s just as well for Apple, since Facebook has been getting raked over the coals lately — accused of allowing the spread of fake news, of experimenting on its users, getting billions of people addicted to screens, and even of trying to market emotionally vulnerable teens to advertisers.
Even Tim Cook, who became Apple’s chief executive in the middle of its ill-fated Ping experiment, in 2011, has apparently turned against the technology.
“I don’t have a kid, but I have a nephew that I put some boundaries on,” Cook told students at a college in Essex, England, late last week, according to the Guardian. “There are some things that I won’t allow; I don’t want them on a social network.”
Cook said this, the Guardian reported, as the school prepared to adopt to Apple’s coding curriculum. Every student got an iPad, and Cook told them that learning to code is more important than speaking a second language.
Yet, the CEO disclaimed, “I’m not a person that says we’ve achieved success if you’re using [technology] all the time.”
Thus his caution about social media, which seems to be one of few forms of popular technology that Apple is not actively trying to develop and sell. It’s already in the computer business, the tablet business, the music-streaming business, TVs, phones, AI, personal assistants, clouds, watches, working out. You name it, and there’s most likely an Apple thing for that.
Incidentally, Apple’s brand image took a hit last month when it was caught intentionally slowing down some iPhones, which despite the company’s denials, many people suspected was a ploy to keep them buying new ones.
Subsequently, The Washington Post reported, two of Apple’s largest shareholders and a former executive suggested the company may be getting children addicted to iPhones — whether they used them for Facebook, Ping or otherwise.