Maybe saying Facebook’s dead is a little premature, but while everyone has been waiting for Google to release Google Me, Apple have sneaked up on the quiet and revealed what could be a killer blow in terms of social networking.
Apple’s Sept 1st 2010 Keynote was in my opinion even better than their June 7th presentation when they announced the iPhone 4. It may be a case of expectations being so high for the new “king of the smartphones” announcement that Steve Jobs was really in a no-win situation back in June. But I think with the grand reveal of their new iPod range, Apple TV (let’s please stop calling it iTV now!) and the sneaky dip into social networking with the announcement of Ping, this was one hell of a keynote.
As a side – I think the new nano looks fantastic and integrating a camera into the iPod touch to enable Facetime is a master stroke, but that’s another blog.
I want to talk about Ping. By integrating Ping into iTunes, Apple have opened up Ping to a mere 160m users in one foul swoop, that’s impressive. It’s what Google will do if they base their new social media offering on YouTube, so they must be watching with bated breath to see what happens.
By integrating social media into iTunes, Apple are saying this is “A Social Network for Music”. But I have to wonder how much this is just to keep Facebook happy, as in reality this is a social network for Music, Books, Films and Apps – many of which are Games.
Lets look at that list again…
Now if we look at what people talk about on Facebook and Twitter, we can see a large portion of that activity is based around those 4 topics.
Therefore we have the platform for wide discussion. Now all we need is to open this up to a wide audience.
Lets consider Apples hardware with iTunes installed ready and waiting, – First we have Macs (1.6m – 1.7m sold per quarter!)
– iPhones (8.7m sold per quarter)
– iPod Touch (3.2m sold per quarter)
So that’s a lot of platforms running iTunes. But wait. Did we miss something? Something that might open up Ping to an even wider audience. Something I’ve probably even already mentioned in this blog… that’s it… Apple TV.
This is where the killer blow could be made. If Apple market their TV offering with all guns blazing they could revolutionise the social networking arena.
Just imagine people networking over their TV. Talking about what Film they are watching. One word. Awesome. Listen to music your friends are into, after all they’re your friends because you probably have similar taste. Read books they like and watch films they are in to.
We could even go a step further and imagine what could happen if we stick a webcam on top of the TV and open up Facetime for Apple TV users. The possibilities are endless.
Apple has seriously lined its ducks up. They could dominate in so many areas – Music consumption, Mobile communications, social networking, TV. Will there really be any hours in the day you don’t find yourself interacting with Apple?