Apple’s Private Social Network

During yesterday’s event, Apple silently killed Ping bringing back Facebook integration. In iOS6 and OS X Mountain Lion, Apple is strengthening Twitter and Facebook integration which appear to be company’s social product; however that’s not all the social in Apple’s ecosystem. They have built their own private social network.

Let’s list the components of Apple’s social network:


On the phone and desktop for sharing documents, images and media, this chat service has now become an interesting communication tool. The tool is no more just a WhatsApp competitor but a full fledged chat client replacing iChat.

Competing social services:

  • Facebook Chat
  • Messenger
  • Google Talk


Not restricted by WiFi anymore, FaceTime lets you have audio/video communication between iPods, iPhones, iPads and Macs. In Apple’s ecosystem you don’t need Skype anymore.

Competing social services:

  • Facebook+Skype
  • Messenger
  • Google+ Hangouts and Google Talk

Shared Photo Stream

When I tried Photo Stream the feature didn’t seem all that interesting. It was a simple sync service between a Mac and the phone but with iOS6, Shared Photo Streams will change the photo sharing experience. The feature lets a group of you share images to a single album and comment on the images.

Competing Services: None.

Between iPhoto, Photo app and Photo Stream, Apple has the best photo sharing experience.

Game Center

Like iMessage, FaceTime and Photo Stream, Game Center will be available on the desktop too. This means your network of friends is not restricted to mobile gaming only.

Competing social services:

  • Xbox LIVE

Friend Spotting

Using iCloud and iOS, you can know where your friends and know what they’re up to.

Competing social services:

  • Foursquare
  • Google Latitude
  • Facebook Places

iTunes Ping

Whether Facebook integration will kill Ping is a different story but till the feature is around, Ping allows you to follow your friends’ multimedia interests.

Competing social services:

  • Facebook Music
  • Xbox Music

These six features when looked at together are nothing less than a social network, and in Apple’s case, the network starts with your phone book and Apple ID. Neither Facebook nor Google offer the same social experience. Path is probably the app that comes closest with everything except shared albums.