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Apple May Take Another Shot at Social Networking with Chomp

Apple's social network, Ping, has arguably been one of the company's few failures. Its $50 million acquisition of app search engine company Chomp—first reported by TechCrunch–may be part of a larger plan by Apple to try again. At the very least, speculates Search Engine Land's Greg Sterling, Chomp's acquisition means that when the revamped iTunes store is launched, it will surely be more search-centric than it is right now.

Important to Marketers

Apple has been readying a significant rehab of the site, Sterling says, and Chomp CEO Ben Keighran is already at work on it. Leaving aside speculation of a revitalized Ping, a revamped iTunes alone will be important to marketers.

Chomp specializes in app search that doesn’t require a particular name, GigaOm said. Users search by function and the possibilities pull up as the user begins typing. If this sounds like there could be associated monetizing possibilities, Chomp would agree. The company also launched "Chomp Search Ads" last year, which GigaOm likened to AdWords in that it allows developers to bid on certain keywords in app searches.

Whither Ping

Chomp's functionality might also be used to infuse life into Ping, which Apple launched in 2010, only to see it languish. A music social network site, Ping has never been able to shake off the perception that Apple launched it solely as a marketing ploy for iTunes.

Best Corporation Reputation

That was then, though. Apple’s position in the eyes of consumers has changed considerably, largely for the better. Certainly it has always been known for its stellar products, but more recently its corporate reputation has also begun to impress.

Today Apple has the best corporate reputation in America among its most visible companies, according to the latest Harris Poll Reputation Quotient (RQ) study, released in February 2012. Apple emerged with the highest overall score (85.6) in the history of the study, surpassing Google, last year’s winner, which fell from a score 84 to 82.8.

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