As noted when iTunes 10 launched yesterday with Apple’s new music social network Ping, the official release of the software came roughly eight hours after its announcement—considerably later than had originally been expected. Reports have suggested that the delay may have been the result of a last-minute contractual problem between Apple and Facebook, which reportedly proposed “onerous terms,” leading Apple to remove a promised Facebook Connect option for locating a user’s existing friends online.
The Facebook Connect feature briefly appeared within iTunes 10’s Ping feature last night, as shown in the screenshot above, before disappearing entirely. iLounge editors testing the feature found no contacts available via the service while it was available. Users now have the option to manually search the Ping database for people or artists, or invite friends via e-mail; Facebook and Twitter sharing links for individual media files still appear elsewhere within the iTunes Store. It’s unclear whether Facebook Connect will return to Ping in the future. Additional screenshots are available below.