A couple of years ago Klout competitor PeerIndex came up with a clever wheeze. It would create PeerGroups, which were listings of experts in particular fields ranked according to their PeerIndex score. These were created by the company itself. Eventually it led to deals with publishers like the UK’s Independent newspaper on lists like “top Twitterers to follow”. Alas, this didn’t exactly take off, even though PI gave users the ability to create lists themselves. So now the startup is killing off the feature. However, another startup, Leaderboarded, is taking over where PI left off and will offer this functionality as a service running on the PI platform, offering groups users a simple online service for creating “leader boards” for online influencers. The transition takes place on 1st October this year.
Under the agreement, existing PeerGroups beta users will be offered a one-click migration and a discounted monthly subscription to Leaderboarded’s service when moving their PeerGroup beta over. This monthly subscription is a core business model for Leaderboarded, but PeerIndex has other fish to fry in building out its platform, rather than offering these kinds of consumer features.
As PeerIndex CEO Azeem Azhar says “There’s a lot of value in the ability for people to create influencer rankings for specific contexts (topic, location and so on) – and Leaderboarded have built a fantastic, easy-to-use scoreboard app, so it’s a perfect match.”
He says the groups were “just not a core focus for us. Groups are useful for a small niche and we felt Leaderboarded would do a better job of developing for that niche as this wasn’t a core focus.
“We have several thousand groups and they have historically been very popular being covered in dozens of national and trade papers – I am excited about what Toby will do with it. More importantly it builds on our platform and our API which is going gangbusters.”
PeerIndex will now focus on building a social data platform, currently analysing over 500 messages per second,and provides timely, accurate data to data partners via the PeerIndexAPI.
Leaderboarded CEO Toby Beresford says his service will turn the old PeerGroups into an “action orientated leader board driving social media performance amongst players who compete with one another
for a better ranking.”
These gamification features let group owners drive community engagement with their influencer rankings. It’s not unlike the Klout model, but in niches, so actually works quite well.
The implication of this is that Klout itself is staying in that difficult to monetize consumer area, even as platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn increase their plays around the whole “influencer” model.