Klout, a San Francisco startup that wants to provide definitive metrics for influence in social media, has revamped its offerings to attract a more professional crowd of big brand clients and enterprise-focused third-party apps.
The service, which started as a fun little way of measuring your reach on Twitter, is growing up; it recently raised $1.5 million in angel funding and has six employees.
“We want to be the best place to understand how influential people are,” said founder Joe Fernandez, “This is your influence credit report.” Fernandez came up with the idea for Klout after jaw surgery left his mouth wired shut. He found the best way to communicate with his friends and family suddenly became Twitter, and he started building a product to measure influence.
Before today’s revamp, Klout provided a cryptic score on a scale of 1 to 100, and listed people who influenced you and who you influenced. Now it dives a little deeper. It will provide where you rank on a percentile basis, so you know how you stack up against all other users and estimates how many people actually pay attention to your tweets out of all of your followers. It also shows your top tweets ranked by how many thousands of people they ultimately reached through retweets.
Klout also does a little psychological profiling to tell whether you’re more of a “listener” or a “persona,” among other attributes. It told me I’m a “curator,” or someone who tries to share high-quality content.
The report is free, but Fernandez says the company is making money off charging for its applications programming interface. A number of business-focused social media companies take Klout’s data and embed it in their products. Fernandez said the company is charging certain larger clients between $5 and $10,000 a month, but that Klout is mostly focused on distribution and reach for now. He added that there are more than 350 companies using the API.