November 11, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Spurned by Facebook, Apple ‘Friends’ Twitter

Apple’s Ping service, which lets users follow artists in iTunes much as they would within Twitter, was supposed to integrate with Facebook until Apple and Facebook had a falling out and the deal fell apart.

Now, Steve Jobs and company have made friends with Twitter by integrating Twitter’s sharing feature into iTunes.

Starting today, any user of both iTunes and Twitter, two of the post popular programs on the planet, will be able to link those accounts, sharing iTunes music on Twitter and and importing Twitter friends into Ping.

In doing so, they will avert one of Steve Jobs’ biggest nightmares about Apple’s Ping social network, which he launched within iTunes in September: that it would never achieve enough critical mass to become truly useful — thus his (failed) attempt to integrate it with Facebook.

To try out this new integration between iTunes and Twitter, select Ping from the left column within iTunes, then click the big image at the top of the screen titled Connect To Twitter, as shown below. Once your accounts are connected, you’ll be able to share links to songs within iTunes to your Twitter followers — and, especially important to the success of Apple’s Ping network, find your Twitter friends on Ping and friend them there too.

Following the disintegration of Apple’s Facebook deal, Twitter was the next natural place for Jobs to turn — and as a sort of internet infrastructure, rather than a web destination like Facebook, it may have been the better option all along.

“Twitter now has more than 175 million registered users who send more than 95 million Tweets per day — more than one quarter of which contain a link to some form of content,” said Twitter spokeswoman Carolyn Penner in a statement. “By linking their Twitter and Ping accounts, people can put Ping activity, song previews, and links to purchase and download music from the iTunes Store right in their Tweets [sic] on”

Just last week, Apple was pleading that its few Ping users spend more time using it. Integrating with Twitter should solve that problem, so that Jobs can rest easy. After all, he initially described Ping as “Facebook and Twitter meets iTunes.” Until today, they hadn’t really done either.

Top photo: Flickr/Marco Paköeningrat