Social Media Bankrolls Users' Klout & Ability To Influence Others

When Twitter acquired Smallthought Systems' analytics application Trendly back in June, it was thought that other analytic software would take a back-seat or fall off the map entirely. This is not the case with Klout, a start-up that helps people measure their influence across a variety of social media sites - at least according to Kleiner Perkins Caulfied & Byers.

This past October, the venture capitalist firm announced a dedicated fund of $250 million that was being earmarked specifically for social media start-ups. Out of that kitty, KPCB announced on January 10, that it would award Klout with $8.5 million.

Klout ranks users based on how much influence they wield on a particular social Web site in comparison to others. Tracking one's influence on both Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn , the service estimates how many people pay attention to one's tweets and update status entries, and determines whether you are a "profiler" or "listener."

In the above example, I was able to derive a 54 out of 100 overall "Klout" score. This calculation is a factor determined by over 35 variables and is broken down into three categories - True Reach, Amplification and Network.

True Reach is the size of your engaged audience and is based on the followers and friends who actively listen and react to your messages. Amplification Score is the likelihood that your messages will generate actions (retweets, @messages, likes and comments) and is on a scale of 1 to 100. Network Score indicates how influential your engaged audience is, also on a scale of 1 to 100. The Klout score is highly correlated to clicks, comments and retweets.

The Klout Classification is a holistic look at one's influence and how they use it. There are 16 possible classifications determined by factors such as how often you tweet, who you follow, who follows you, and how your audience interacts with your messages. Your Klout Class is like a personality test for your style of influence.

Klout determined from all those variables, that my style of influence describes me as a "Thought Leader."

According to Venture Beat report, the Klout team will be using the the new round of funding to expand its engineering team to include more online services beyond Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. It will also broaden to customer experience to help users make more sense of their online reputation.

So whether or note Twitter's Trendly can match up to the robust nature of Klout is yet to be seen. But at the gate, even before it comes out of Beta, Trendly will have a marked disadvantage - it's limited to one network only - and that network is limited to 140 characters or less!