Apple may not have had much success with Ping, their music-based social networking service, but a new patent has revealed that they may be getting ready to give social networking another go. On February 23rd, Apple filed to trademark "Places" in both Europe and China. After diving into the filings, it was discovered that the trademark covers four different international classes, but the real meat lies in the last one, international class 045, which has to do with "Online social networking services; providing a social networking website; assisting in the locating of people using a global positioning system (GPS)." By the sound of it, Places could end up becoming a social networking service that lets users find their iOS device-owning friends using the GPS on the device. Outside of that, there isn't much known about Places just yet.
Ping may not have been quite the success that Apple had hoped for, but with the popularity of Foursquare, Gowalla, etc., I could something like Places being more popular with end users. The problem is that, even though the Verizon iPhone has likely brought at least a few new users into the fold, not everyone has an iOS device. What do you all think of the idea of Places? Is it something you iOS folks would take advantage of?