Just a few days after Klout unveiled its new model, the Internet has been buzzing with rumors that the social influence measuring service will be acquired for at least $100 million.
In the past, Klout was a largely passive measure of your social influence simplified and measured on a scale of 1-100. This meant that there wasn’t much users could proactively do to increase their scores. People with low scores were unlikely to use the service or even check it more than once or twice. Many decried Klout as a sign of social media vanity that had little practical application or worth.
Earlier this month, however, Klout unveiled its new model. Instead of (somewhat arbitrarily) measuring your influence across social networks and reporting it, the “new Klout” acts more like a content-sharing service. Mashable’s Chris Taylor describes it as “a social media dashboard, with a stream of content you’d likely want to share in order to boost your Klout score.” Klout is no longer just recording your score. It’s helping you improve it.
This is partially in response to the question Klout CEO Joe Fernandez says users ask him most frequently: “How do I increase my score?”
Now, when users log into Klout, they see a content stream instead of their profile. It is automatically populated with content based on topics in which the user is influential or has been given Klout by others. For example, my topics include social media, public relations, fashion, Disney, coffee, Illinois State University and J. Crew. Users can add other topics of interest, too, if they so desire.
Klout tags content into four categories. A piece that is “on the rise” is just starting to trend. A “crowdpleaser” is popular within your network, while not many in your network have seen the “hidden gems.” Finally, “hot off the press” content is just what it sounds like – recently published. You can share all of this content easily from your dashboard or choose to schedule it for later.
Klout’s new model could certainly help in strengthening your personal brand on social media. On an even bigger scale, Klout is considering developing a “premium version” of the service, which could be a useful tool for digital marketers, public relations professionals and community managers.
Basically, “Old Klout” told you how cool you were (or weren’t). Frankly, there wasn’t much value in that judgement. “New Klout,” on the other hand, is trying to be a useful social media tool with real, monetary value – at least, Lithium Technologies (Klout’s rumored buyer) thinks so.
By Abby Brennan
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.