Last week, Apple launched a partnership with Twitter that allows the users of its Ping social network to send their likes to their Twitter streams. Using Microsoft's Archivist, we tapped into the Twitter firehose over the last few days and took a look at how Ping is doing on Twitter. Before the launch of this integration, there was a lot of talk about how Ping was a major failure for Apple. Indeed, the total number of tweets from Ping per-day hovers somewhere around 3,000, with a spike up to 4,000 on Wednesday after the Beatles catalog arrived on iTunes.

Clearly, Ping is not going viral on Twitter yet. Indeed, users barely ever retweet a Ping like. Only 1.4% of the Ping likes we analyzed were retweets. By comparison, almost 6% of links to the increasingly popular Instagram mobile photo sharing site were retweets. While we can't compare the two directly, it is also worth noting that we regularly saw more than 400 Instagram tweets within half an hour, while we barely saw more than 50-60 Ping likes on Twitter in the same time period. While that's great for Instagram, that's not a good sign for Ping.

Our own Marshall Kirkpatrick described Ping on Twitter as a "non-starter" earlier this week and judging from this data, a lot of Twitter and iTunes users feel the same way.


Note: The data for 11/19 is incomplete. We also only looked at tweets in English.

A Few More Observations:

  • Those who used Ping's like function to sent Tweets to Ping only used it a few times from what we could see. There are some power-users who sent over 100 Ping likes to their Twitter friends over the course of the week, but those are in the minority (and probably annoyed their followers to no end).
  • It doesn't come as a surprise that the top words in these tweets (Beatles, Box Set, John)have to do with the Beatles - after all, the full Beatles catalog came to iTunes earlier this week and quickly dominated the charts there.