|Apple’s foray into social music is not going well as its Ping service is experiencing a multitude of problems, including comment spam, a lack of promised functionality, and generally inconsistent user experience.
Security researcher Chet Wisniewski at Sophos said Apple is not employing any type of spam or URL filtering, as comments such as those advertising “free iPhones” were already appearing some 24 hours after the site’s launch. He also said that Apple has made it easy for those to abuse the service.
“No credit card or other positive identification is required to participate,” he pointed out in a blog post. Without this, a user could create accounts easily simply by creating a bogus iTunes account which in turn would allow a bogus Ping account to be created.
Ping is also suffering from a case of overpromising and underdelivering, apparently. In his presentation on Wednesday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that the service would tie in with Facebook in order to assist in music discovery and finding friends to follow.
Unfortunately for Apple, Facebook is currently saying, no way…
Facebook Zings Ping
The Facebook APIs that let other services, such as Ping, search for friends on the social networking giant’s site are normally open unless other services expect to make heavy use of them. If they do, they have to sign an agreement with Facebook.
The first round of negotiations between Apple and Facebook fell through because Cupertino found Facebook’s demands onerous, AllThingsD reported.
However, the Ping site continued to let subscribers search for friends on Facebook until Cupertino was denied access to the social networking giant’s APIs.
Apple and Facebook have resumed talks on letting Ping subscribers find their friends on Facebook, AllThingsD reported.
Fear and Loathing
Perhaps Facebook’s “onerous” demands were based on fears about a new influx of spam from the Ping service. Prior to Ping’s launch, Facebook had been hit by a wave of Apple-related spam, Graham Cluley, Sophos senior technology consultant, wrote in his blog. Often, the attacks will post bogus messages on the victim’s Wall advertising free iPads or iPhones.
“Facebook is definitely having huge challenges fighting the spam and scams,” Chester Wisniewski, a senior security advisor at Sophos, pointed out. “It’s looking closely at every link that comes into its service to see if it has malicious content. At this point anything that might introduce more nightmares to Facebook isn’t welcome.”
That fear, if it exists, is perhaps well founded — within 24 hours of its launch on Wednesday, Ping was hit by a wave of comment spam.