Yesterday, Apple introduced iTunes Ping a new social networking platform for music lovers introduced with iTunes 10 (Read iTunes 10 and iTunes Ping Review). However, after a while Apple removed Facebook Connect from Ping.
There have been several reasoning as to why that happened, however, Boomtown has confirmed news that Apple pulled the plug on Facebook Connect after Facebook blocked API Access because they could not reach an agreement with Apple.
The major reason behind Facebook blocking Ping’s API requests is not because of it being a competitor, but because of the amount of users iTunes currently has, 160 million to be precise. So even though Facebook’s Connect API is free to use, however, if someone wants to use it a lot, which is the case with iTunes, they have to have an agreement with Facebook.
It seems like both Apple and Facebook were negotiating on it, but they could not finalize anything and the Facebook Connect feature was introduced even though both did not have an agreement. This is when Facebook started blocking API requests by Ping. Now Apple suggests users to use the email invites feature to connect with your friends or use the search feature.
So will this problem between Facebook and Apple turn out to be bigger in the future? Only time will tell.