Klout Plans to Become Social Network

Many social media-savvy people, from celebrities to average Joe’s, check the extent of their online influence through their Klout score. This multi-platform service, created by Joe Fernandez five years ago, uses data from various social networking services like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and Blogger among others, to come up with a single score on a scale of 1 to 100 based on the user’s influence. Users with high Klout scores can even avail of freebies just by tweeting or posting about the service and its corporate sponsors.

But apparently Fernandez wants to take his pet project a step further in an effort to turn Klout into something more than just a tool to boost one’s ego. The social influence scorekeeper wants to become its own social network. Klout’s website is currently going through a transformation, turning it into a venue where people can ask questions to experts. Look at it as if Nielsen Company developed its own TV sitcomes, or the Gallup Poll ran its own political candidates.

“We built the Internet standard for influence and reputation, but didn’t have consumer utility,” Fernandez says in an interview with Wired. “It’s a big step for our company. It’s also an internally scary transitionfrom being focused on the score to trying to be a utility for the world.”

The new service, called Klout Experts, works by sending questions to other users. They can choose to ask anyone on Klout and the recipient can answer in 300 characters or less. This is where influencers can make use of their high Klout scores, as their “high” status could mean they are asked more frequently than others.

In a future version, Klout would match popular questions with answers, rate them, and come up with better answers. Another upcoming feature is called “instant answers,” where Klout pings experts when someone asks a question these influencers know something about. Presumably, Klout hopes these new features would pull in advertising revenue by putting targeted ads to exchanges relevant to their products.

Klout also has partnered-up with Bing for Microsoft’s search engine to access answers Klout experts. The best answers will also reach a new audience, making the influencers’ online presence even more prevalent.

As of this posting, only a few thousand questions have been posted. Klout hopes that more users would pitch in with this exchange of minds in the future.

Source: Wired
Technology News – GuideTo.Com

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