The internet has become the best place to reach out to many people and gain a following. What was once a task that took a lot of work and money in marketing can now be done so much quicker online. Individuals have received recognition for their ideas and opinions simply by reaching out to many like minded individuals that find what they say or do interesting. Klout was created to help measure this activity. Users can track the impact of their opinions, shared links and recommendations. Klout collects data about the content the user created and how others interact with it. It uses the PeopleRank algorithm, which gathers data about how your opinions influence other people and how much they influence others. Through Klout, users can measure influencers and see how they measure up or where their content stands with others.
Klout was created in August of 2008 as an online influence measuring tool. Based out of San Francisco, California, founder Binh Tran was looking for a tool that could help users see their online standing. While there were many outlets for opinions and sharing content, there was a need for a way to monitor these areas. The result was Klout, which has become a popular tool for many internet users today. In August 2011, Klout entered a partnership with comedy video website Funny or Die.
Many sites give users another place to post content and share recommendations. Instead of becoming another one of these, Klout was created to monitor the activity on these sites. The user can turn to Klout as a tool for measuring where they stand with internet visitors. Klout is designed to monitor certain influencers and return information to the user based on how their content is perceived and how others interact with it.
The Klout website has a very straightforward design. A primarily light blue and white background is dramatically offset by a black and bold red header. The color combination works very well. A new visitor is greeted by category listings and top social influences as measured by Klout. The profiles use colorful icons that represent the user’s achievements. These include things like how many reTweets they received, how many list memberships they have, and other influential items. The user’s Klout score is also posted on the profile page.
A visitor can create a Klout profile by clicking on the orange “Sign up” link at the top right hand corner of the homepage. Klout requires each user to sign in using their existing Twitter account. Users that do not have one, or do not wish to link their accounts, cannot sign in to Klout. In reality, measuring influence would require looking at sites like Twitter, so it is understandable that this would be the registration requirement.
Klout measures influence through content posted to many free websites. The service may be helpful, but it does not offer enough features to warrant a subscription fee. That being said, any user can sign in with their Twitter account and use Klout for free. There is no payment requirement at this time and no word on that changing anytime soon.
Klout is ideal for users that do a lot of online posting and want to see where they stand. Professionals and businesses could even use Klout to monitor their marketing progress, although a large business would likely have this type of work budgeted in with a professional. Small businesses and individual freelancers can use Klout to see how their blogs and websites are doing. Pure bloggers can also monitor their notoriety. Overall, Klout is great for anyone that has any reason to monitor their popularity online.