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Is Apple Planning a New Social Network?

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When Apple launched Ping, their social music network, people were interested for about one day. I checked out Ping and it was neat and all, but it’s safe to say Ping failed–miserably.

New evidence dug up by 9to5Mac indicates that Apple could be in the process of creating a new social network based on media sharing.

Hidden deep in the iOS 4.3 file system is a new folder titled “Media Stream.” Within that folder is some information about “Photo Streaming.” From the looks of different alerts and plists, it appears that Apple will let iPhone users set up “Photo Streams” that friends could “subscribe” to. Also, it looks like there will be some privacy preferences related to this, so you can choose who is allowed to view your “Streams.”

It’s too late for Apple to join the social networking game. Facebook’s lead is far too great. Maybe Apple is trying to take the route like Instagr.am? Nevertheless, I don’t know how many more social networks we can possibly join.

What would make sense would be the release of a native iOS messaging application, similar to BBM for the iPhone. FaceTime is already there, we just need a decent chat application, that is tied in with our Apple accounts. There have also been rumours of Find my Friends coming to iOS.

Are you still using Ping? Is the need there for a native iChat app for iOS?

[9to5Mac]

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  • Demosthenesx

    A native messenger app, a la BBM is so obvious, I don’t know why Apple hasn’t implemented it yet. If it leveraged the existing base of iChat users, all the better. I’ve always thought that tying BBM to the handset, rather than phone number or a username, was a silly idea. That, and BBM is about the only thing keeping a lot of people tied to their Blackberries. If Apple can give its users something better than BBM, no one will be buying BBs anymore…

  • Suman

    Except for all the Canadians who actually WANT to support Canadian companies, while also using a phone that’s a viable alternative to the iPhone…

  • Anonymous

    Hasn’t Apple learned it’s lesson already? Ping sucks, piggyback on a more successful network and call it a day.

  • Anonymous

    Ya, somehow I don’t think RIM is going to let Apple tie into the BBM network. They’re dying a slow death as it is and don’t need to give away the one advantage they do have over the iPhone and that’s secure communications between their devices. Oh and their Enterprise integration with BES is really good too. If Apple would step up with an integrated chat tied to your iTunes account and introduce a server level Enterprise management tool they’d kill the BB dead. Dead I say!

  • chrimu

    I think social networks are becoming obsolete like cds and usb sticks. I don’t need a platform to water the flowers of my neighbour, communicate or share fotos.

    There are apps for that. Apps can be selected, owned, used, substituted by better or just different ones and deleted if I get tired of them. It is like building my own system. They are modular. And they are mine, for as long as I want. Centralism can be nice and cheaper, but it is not really flexible.

  • Anonymous

    I WANT AN IPHONE TO IPHONE MESSENGER SO BAD!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I agree. I’m stunned that they haven’t made a decent chat app. After all… That’s what keeps BB users on their blackberries.

  • Robert

    To add to your “tying to phone number and not handset”, I’d go even further and say tie it to facebook via facebook connect (to acquire contacts) and keep the record via Apple ID. Sure my handset changes often, but my phone number might also change as well; I will always have facebook. Therefore, if I change handset/number, I don’t have to inform all of my contacts as they will still be my facebook friend.
    Honestly, Apple should take whatsapp and add all of the features BBM has (group chat, etc.) and turn them into an iOS integrated iPM (iPhone messenger). Just my $0.02.

  • Anonymous

    No… as someone who is in the IT industry I wouldn’t recommend any business tying into anything that needed iTunes to function. It’s consumer-driven, period. Apple would need to give up a lot of control to better integrate with businesses, and this is one of the most controlling companies on the planet.

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