At one point in time, especially before the iPhone, iTunes may have been Apple’s most popular brand. It was everywhere, from Macs to iPods to even Windows PCs. iTunes’ time, however, is probably long gone and there are signs that it’s on its way out are getting clearer. The latest is Apple’s move to silently clear out the brand’s social networking pages, as if wiping its existence from the face of the Internet.
One might also think that being a Facebook critic, Apple has decided to withdraw from Facebook and Instagram. But not even Apple can really afford to ignore the weight of social networks. The real reason is, of course, the expected demise of iTunes.
It’s rather odd that Apple would choose to delete all Facebook and Instagram posts and take the time to do that. It could have simply deactivated those accounts but perhaps that would have been too much of a confirmation of its plans. Not that anyone didn’t notice anyway.
It isn’t just social networks either. A few astute netizens have reported that some iTunes links for songs and artists now redirect to music.apple.com. Others have also noted that links to specific classes of digital content will soon redirect to specific links per category, from apps to books to movies.
The iTunes brand may have once made sense when it only contained music and even some videos. Using it for things that have little to do with “tunes” makes as much sense as Google using “Play” for books and magazines (which has also confused some to presume the Google Play Store is all about games). Apple is expected to announce iTunes’ retirement at WWDC this month and in its stead will be separate apps and links to break up what once was a single but messy entity.