∞ Apple patent shows Ping-like social networking for retail stores

If you’ve ever wanted to share your shopping experiences using your iPhone, Apple may soon have a solution for you.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]In a new patent discovered by AppleInsider on Thursday, Apple is proposing a way for shoppers to share their views on products instantly. The patent, “Social Networking in Shopping Environments,” users could use the iPhone to share the information.

“The system could be as simple as providing friends the ability to give a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, or a virtual ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down,'” writes AppleInsider. “In one example, a shopper asks their friends, ‘Should I buy this?’ In another, a husband asks ‘Help, I need birthday gift ideas for my wife. Will she like this?'”

As pointed out in the original report, the service could also be used by retailers to get near instant feedback on products from consumers while they shop.

Photo Credit: AppleInsider.com

Apple’s first foray into the social networking arena was unveiled last September when the company introduced Ping, a way for users to share views on music purchased on the iTunes Store.