Klout goes mobile with new app
Klout, the service that claims to measure social media “influence,” released its first mobile app on Wednesday, promising a way for social media users to leverage their online personas for real-life perks.
Klout, one of the better known startups that have sprouted from Twitter’s ecosystem, is founded upon the intriguing, but often-contested, premise that a person’s online clout could be quantified and boiled down to a single number — a number that, in an world increasingly engaged and intertwined with social media, mirrors flesh-and-blood influence.
Among other things, Klout’s complex algorithm takes into consideration the frequency and probability of re-Tweets and Facebook and Google Plus shares to assign users a score between 1 and 100. The algorithm also measures which topics a user is influential in, a feature that offers brands insight into which power users to woo, and of course, what they are saying about products.
CEO Joe Fernandez said in a recent interview that his vision for Klout was to turn its scores into a “passport” for social media users: A niche Twitter diva followed by thousands of fashion enthusiasts, for instance, could flash her iPhone at a participating boutique to get discounts.
The company still hasn’t announced any corporate partnerships that makes this scenario a reality, and many features are still pending. But the iPhone app, available Wednesday, comes just two months after Klout acquired Blockboard, a company that had been working on geo-location-based social network. An Android app is also in the works.
“This was a fast-paced project, going from zero to code-complete in under seven weeks,” Stephen Hood, Blockboard’s CEO and now the head of mobile at Klout, said in a blog post. “There’s much more to come.”