The Ping Nickname Question

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
I know there's been some debate over whether you're allowed to use a nickname in Ping. I was just searching for this myself and found that Apple has answered the question in their knowledge database which was updated today:

The relevant part is here:

Can I use my iTunes nickname to post iTunes Ping comments and reviews?

No, your Ping profile name must match the name designated in your Account Payment Information screen within iTunes. If you've previously created an iTunes nickname, it will automatically be replaced with your Ping profile name. Your Ping name appears on all of your published Customer Reviews. If you do not want your name associated with some or all of your reviews, you are welcome to remove reviews from the iTunes Store at any time. You can manage your reviews by choosing View My Account from the Store menu and clicking the Manage Reviews button. If you turn off Ping, your iTunes nickname will reappear. Please note that the iTunes Store requires that your Ping name match the name listed in your iTunes Store account information (which is your Apple ID information). Thus, when you change your Ping name, the first and last name in your Apple ID information will be updated and vice versa.

Also, PC World did a review of the security measures in Ping which you can read at:

From these two sources, it seems that if you use a nickname in Ping, it will change the billing information you have on file and you may not be able to authorize your credit card to make purchases anymore. If you only access the iTunes Store with pre-paid cards or only use the Store for buying free apps and sampling the song of the week, then all the power to you, since you don't have to authorize your billing in the first place.

As for other people seeing your real name, they will see it on future reviews (it's unclear whether old reviews have the name changed; Apple's page seems to imply they will, but other reviews and people have said they've seen no change), but no one can see your information unless you allow it. If you only want to use Ping to follow artists, you can turn off "Follow me" altogether and no one will know you're there unless you comment on an artist's page. If you turn "Follow me" on, you can still decide if everyone can find you, or if you have to approve people to see your information, so only those you know will see anything beyond your name and location.

PC World also pointed out that everything beyond name and gender appears to be optional. As someone had suggested in another thread, Apple may have chosen to go this route because when people are forced to use their real names, they often become much more honest. Of course, that's just speculation. Maybe if enough people send them a message asking for the possibility of using nicknames, they'll relent and allow it.

Someone in another thread had also asked how artists get added to Ping. In the Knowledge Base article, it does say at the bottom that you can get your representative to contact Apple as long as you're registered as a Content Provider. My understanding is that that means if you sell music on the store already, all you have to do is ask.

I hope that clears up some of the confusion for people. Short form is: if you have a credit card attached to your iTunes account, you should be using your real name in Ping. Yes, it's a bit unfortunate, but at least Apple is giving you control over who can see your name, or if you do share your name, who can see any information beyond just your name.


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    all my old reviews are suddenly showing with my REAL NAME. so, it is retroactive.

    WHAT A CROCK. apple is generally spot on with usability and user experience, but when they screw up, they REALLY screw up.

    as a developer, both this, and behind the scenes - it seems anything and everything connected to itunes at apple is just sub-par.

    thanks for posting this, as this is what google direct me to. i am sure i would have never seen this on apple's website, ever.
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