Facebook Puts Apple in a Pinch Over Ping

Apple's Ping music service
Apple's Ping music service

Apple users looking to sync up with Facebook friends via Apple's newly released iTunes social network Ping may be out of luck for a while.

The two tech titans apparently got into a bit of a fracas when Apple (AAPL) debuted Ping Wednesday, according to a report in The New York Times. Apple is using some of Facebook's freely available programming technology to link to the Ping service, rather than entering into a contractual relationship with the social network giant to layer Ping on top of Facebook.

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A day after CEO Steve Jobs launched Apple's new music social network, Facebook put the squeeze on Apple by blocking users' access to their Facebook friends via Ping. According to the report, Facebook feared an onslaught of traffic coming to its servers via Ping, saying it prefers to work with companies to get the kinks worked out before the go button is pushed.

While the number of folks signed up for Ping is likely relatively low given it launched just a couple of days ago, roughly 160 million potential iTunes users could access Ping. The Times notes that Facebook's developer principles specify that a company could be subject to additional contract terms if it receives more than 100 million server calls a day because Facebook could potentially bear the weight of comparable traffic.

So at least for now, iTunes users may hear their music but will be clueless about their Facebook friends are grooving to.

Originally published