The company may instead incorporate Twitter and Facebook into iTunes

Apple will shut down Ping, its musical social network and recommendation service, in the next iTunes update, Billboard reports.

The service, which was launched in September 2010, allowed users to follow and receive updates from artists and their friends. It was the technology giant’s first foray into social networking and has proved unsuccessful – not least because many music fans were already recommending music via Twitter and Facebook, using YouTube or Spotify links, where users could hear the tracks in full.

At its annual developers conference in San Francisco last week, Apple showed off the next version of iOS 6 – the operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Mountain Lion, the next version of the Apple Mac operating system. As part of the announcement were plans to integrate Twitter and Facebook more fully into Apple products. This will likely transfer to the new version of iTunes in a bid for Apple to cut its losses with Ping in favour of more meaningful partnerships with established social networks, of which its users are already active.

Previously, at the D10 conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted at the demise of Ping, saying “We tried Ping, and I think the customer voted and said, ‘this isn’t something that I want to put a lot of energy into.'”