Apple’s been long rumored to be jumping into the social network sphere, especially since the release of Ping! Some think that Ping! was the first step toward a more complete social network offering from Apple. Patents filed over the course of the year certainly suggest that Apple’s working on something socially related.

Curiously Apple has just launched “another social networking related trademark symbol,” according to Patently Apple. The stylized Speech bubbles could easily be the symbol for some new social media project, or it could be the new iChat icon. There’s no way of knowing entirely. I guess we’ll find out shortly, should Apple make an announcement during their iPad 2 keynote.

Turns out that the icon is the Ping symbol. How’s that for a facepalm moment! Go ahead, facepalm away.  That being said, Apple has certainly been working on a lot of social media apps internally.

Apple’s dabbling in social networks

Back in May, Wayne uncovered a patent for a new social networking work flow (also via Patently Apple). In the patent there was evidence pointing towards a social network offering, and syncing schedules with friends. Then, in December, another patent application popped up for a social networking app for shoppers that would let a consumer find and reserve products before they even make their way into a store. Users would be able to see inventory and make reservations directly from within an application. Finally, in January, a couple of people found references to location aware features in iOS 4.3 called Find My Friends.

There’s a lot of evidence that social networks have been the apple of Apple’s eye lately. While most of this background information could be nothing in reality, it does very clearly identify Apple’s interest in the social networking market.

Article and Image Via Patently Apple

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