Apple made its first foray into social networking on Wednesday with the introduction of Ping, a ‘social music discovery’ service with that runs alongside the latest version of iTunes.
The service was unveiled by chief executive Steve Jobs, who touted the site as aiding “social music discovery, and comes as part of iTunes 10, which Apple released today.
Ping is like Facebook and Twitter meets iTunes, Jobs said at a San Francisco press event. It’s a “social network all about music and built right into iTunes,” he said.
The service is available on the computer, the iPhone, and the iPod touch.
Users can follow their favorite artists publicly or create their own, private profiles, much like Facebook.
Users can set up a “circle of friends” and share information only with those people.
ITunes will then display top 10 charts that reflect what friends are downloading.
“Get as private and public as you want,” Jobs said. “Privacy is super simple – anyone can do it.”
Ping also includes 17,000 concert listings, provided by Live Nation.
“We are thrilled to power the concert listings feature on iTunes and deliver this new and simple way for millions of iTunes users to purchase concert tickets at Livenation.com and Ticketmaster.com,” Michael Rapino, president and CEO of Live Nation, said in a statement. “Our partnership with Apple is a key part of our strategy to empower fans with the greatest access to live entertainment.”
Ping will be open to 160 million users in 23 countries immediately.
Also today, Apple introduced a smaller, streaming-only version of Apple TV, and revamped its iPod lineup.
Get Netimperative updates on Twitter