Facebook Friend Search Functionality On Ping Removed After Facebook Blocks API Access

Ping Facebook Connect Issue

Ping, Apple’s new social network for music, has already seen a lot of rave reviews. The service is part of the latest version of iTunes and lets users connect with friends and artists to share and follow music tastes.

The social networking service already has a lot of music artists signing up to connect with their followers.

However, Ping in its current form could turn out to be a haven for impostors and spammers. TechCrunch points out that the new music social networking service already has fake accounts in the name of Mark Zuckerberg and The Beatles. Considering the lucrative opportunity involved in selling music to followers, TechCrunch notes that Ping is likely to invite spammers to create fake accounts of popular music bands to sell their music. The issue could be sorted out through proper referencing methods using third party services like Facebook Connect that could help validate iTunes accounts. 

Users who have accessed Ping recently may have noticed a minor change in the ‘Find People‘ functionality. The feature originally allowed people to find friends by signing into their Facebook account. However, this functionality has since then been removed.

According to a report on All Things Digital, the move follows Facebook’s reluctance to open their API up for a service that they doubt could significantly impact their infrastructure. According to sources, Facebook has been insisting on an agreement with Apple that will help the company protect its user data and minimize infrastructure impact. Though such agreements are normally not required for websites making use of the Facebook API, the networking service is noted to have required these agreements considering the massive 160 million installed user base of iTunes.

All Things Digital further reveals that the two companies were unable to reach an agreement over Ping. Consequently, Facebook is reported to have blocked access to iTunes due to Apple’s violation of its terms of service, which has forced Apple to remove the functionality from Ping. It is however believed that the Facebook Connect feature could soon be reinstated as the two companies are still discussing the matter. In a media statement released yesterday, Facebook said:

“Facebook believes in connecting people with their interests and we’ve partnered with innovative developers around the world who share this vision. Facebook and Apple have cooperated successfully in the past to offer people great social experiences and we look forward to doing so in the future.”

We are keen to see the functionality brought back. Have you checked out Ping? What are your impressions on the new service? Tell us in the comments.

[via TechCrunch, All Things Digital]