I think it is safe to say that Ping, in it's current form is a dud. When Apple released the feature, I had great hopes for it's usability. I thought it could be a convenient way to share music with my friends that I liked, and maybe send the music I was currently listening to out to some other social networks. With the current Ping, that is not possible, but it looks like Apple may have a few ideas how to make Ping more relevant. According to the iTunes terms and conditions that I just agreed to, Apple is introducing a new feature to iTunes called the Ping Sidebar. It is currently unknown what this new feature will do exactly, but I have some hopes and ideas as to what it might do. First of all, I think and hope that it brings the Ping service out of the ITunes store and into my music library.
Currently, the only way to use Ping is in the ITunes store, where in all honesty it is a nightmare to try and use. In order to like a song you have to tunnel through menus, and the interface is not the friendliest thing to deal with, which is strange for Apple. I hope that the new sidebar lives with the Genius sidebar and allows me to like a song that I am currently listening to or have selected. This would make much more sense as people more commonly think about liking a song while listening to it, not searching to buy it in my opinion.
Another feature I would like to see with the Ping Sidebar is to show you other people who have liked the song you are listening to. This would work like the genius but for people, which could easily increase the number of people using Ping by now helping me to find out more people win similar taste, so that I can buy music that they buy too (which is Apple's goal with Ping).
Mostly I just want Ping to be able to tell me more news about music I like, without having to be in the iTunes store to do so. I hope Apple takes this opportunity to take advantage of Ping, as I still think it has the best name of all the social networks out there.