Apple on Sunday closed Ping, and has removed the failed social networking service from iTunes.

Ping, Apple’s social networking service for music, which debuted as part of iTunes 10 in 2010, was quietly discontinued on Sunday, and has now been removed from within the current version of iTunes as well as the iTunes Store. Users will now get an error message if they attempt to click on a Ping link, and are redirected to the Apple Store home pages.

CNet reports that playlists made by users within Ping have been converted to Apple’s publishable iMixes playlist format, but any followers will have been lost.

The aim of Ping was to enable users to be able to share what they have been listening to and buying, see what converts their friends are going to, and also post status updates in a similar fashion to Facebook and Twitter.

However, Ping’s death is unlikely to cause much disappointment, after its dismal uptake by customers and wide criticism from experts. See: Ping: What went wrong.

The first hint of the service’s demise came in May, when Apple CEO Tim Cook said at All Things D: “We tried Ping and the customer voted and said, this isn’t something I want to put a lot of energy into. Some customers love it, but there’s not a huge number that do, so will we kill it? I don’t know. I’ll look at that.”

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