Klout, a San Francisco-based Internet start-up with Joe Fernandez, CEO and co-founder, has recently integrated five new services for social media users and brands to measure influence and reach across their networks. This past weekend, Klout quietly introduced another new feature, an influencer program called Klout Squad. For those new to Klout, their website says:
What is Klout?
Klout measures influence online. When you create content or engage, you impact others. Klout analyzes that impact to find your Klout Score, influential topics, and your influencers. Klout is the standard for influence. Top brands such as Disney, Audi, and Turner use Klout Perks to reach and engage influencers. Over 3,000 applications and partners use Klout data to display Klout Scores, prioritize based on Score or topics, and segment users.
What is the Klout Score?
The Klout Score measures influence on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the most influential. Klout uses data from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Foursquare in order to measure:
• How many people you influence; (True Reach)
• How much you influence them; and (Amplification)
• How influential they are (Network Score)
There is a lot more going on than meets the eye and a user's influence boils down to about 35 variables.
Klout Squad is invite-only at this time and is awarded to those they think could help make the service more useful. Many social networking services like Yelp, also an Internet start-up based in San Francisco, have an Elite status designation.
Designations are cool, but Klout's next feature, that will be introduced, is called Topic Pages. Topic Pages, when rolled out, will help promote the top influencers on any given topic. Currently, members of Klout may give someone else or a brand, what's known as +K for a topic. Currently, a +K doesn't increase one's score, but may be used in calculating their topic of influence in Topic Pages, once released. New ways to increase a score is by signing up for and becoming influential on Google's Blogger, Tumblr, Instagram, Yahoo's Flickr and Last.fm.
Since the introduction of Klout, third-party companies and websites have created lists of topics and the online influencers that cover them. Some social media discussions I have been involved with have had moderators that were invited in big part because of their Klout score.
Klout would like to be the destination for influencer lists, thus creating more on-website traffic and a place for brands to identify their biggest supporters. Another reason why Topic Pages are a good move for the company is that people will want to be ranked number one or as Fernandez says it's for, "definitely ego and vanity." [Wired]
Topic Pages, +K's and the Klout Squad designation are an added benefit for users to keep utilizing the service in fun new ways. I have seen an increase of Tweets from people and brands that I engage with directly because of the +K feature. The recent roll-out of five new services to measure influence will help users with different interests and engaged networks, especially blogging and photography on Klout. If you would like know your Klout score and to experiment, click on my referral link. I'm @24k on Twitter, follow and let's engage about social media today!