Today, Apple's struggling social network on iTunes got a second wind: Ping is teaming with Twitter to expand its music discovery engine. Now, users can easily link their Ping and Twitter accounts, allowing users to port over followers from Twitter and auto-tweet "Ping activity, song previews and links to purchase and download music from the iTunes Store."
What does that mean?
After Apple failed to strike a deal with Facebook, Ping never really got off the ground (only around 2000 artists have joined so far); this partnership gives Ping new life-blood, providing access to Twitter's massive network of 175 million users. With linked accounts, now whenever you post or review or share downloaded music on Ping, the info can also be sent out to all your Twitter followers--complete with song previews and links to the iTunes store. Essentially, Twitter has just managed to swallow up Apple's new social network--everything users do on Ping can be followed through tweets.
And thanks to Twitter's recent redesign, the shared Ping activity will appear in Twitter's new details panel (pictured), literally transforming half of Twitter into the iTunes store.
All in all, it's a huge get for Apple: not only does it provide a much-needed boost of potential users, but it will create a surge in advertising and access for iTunes. The benefits aren't as apparent for Twitter. Certainly, song previews will make the site more media rich; plus, it's never a bad idea to have Steve Jobs as an ally.
But one thing is for sure: Apple must've paid Twitter quite a lot for this partnership.
[Photo by Andrew Hur]