Klout goes mobile with new app

April 25, 2012

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.”

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Klout is way behind here – check out SocialLadder the iPhone app that actually gives local offers and deals – right inside the app, all based on how influential you are.

More than that, the app shows users the transactions that affect their social influence rating. Klout’s getting there but SocialLadder has been – with an iPhone app that been in production for months.

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