Klout, the startup that measures influence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Foursquare, Google+ and other social apps, is launching a new feature called Brand Squads, consisting of dedicated profile pages which give companies a centralized place to engage with influencers.
For background, Klout evaluates users’ behavior with complex ranking algorithms and semantic analysis of content to measure the influence of individuals on social networks. The company is now topping 12 billion API calls, which is up from 100 million API calls in January 2011. The company has more than 5,000 API partners, up from around 100 in early 2010. And it has indexed north of 100 million public profiles. Klout also just raised around $30 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins and others, with partner Chi-Hua Chien joining the startup’s board.
As Klout’s David Temple explains, Brand Squads “are Klout’s way of giving influencers a place to be recognized and have a direct impact on the brands they care about most.” Previously, brands had more simple pages with just their Klout Score. Brand Squads is a different twist on brand pages, where top influencers for brands have a chance to be recognized and have an impact on the brand.
With these dedicated pages for brands, Klout users can see a dynamic list of top influencers for each brand, watch conversations flow across social media, monitor information about a brand’s recent developments, and earn access to special Perks. Perks are exclusive offers or experiences, given as a result of your Klout score.
Klout is launching Brand Squads with Red Bull as a launch partner. So if you take a look at the Red Bull ‘brand squad,’ you’ll see that Red Bull has offered Perks that will roll out to their top influencers over the next few weeks. The very top influencers will get some merchandise or a trip to the X-Games.
Klout measures influence based on the ability to drive action across the social web. Any person can connect their social network accounts and Klout will generate a score on a scale of 1-100 that represents their ability to engage other people and inspire social actions. Klout enables everyone to gain insights that help them better understand how they influence others. Klout also provides people with opportunities to shape and be recognized for their influence.