Mon, May 07, 2012
Technology > Technology

Klout CEO hints at redesign, local feature, brand page update

2012-05-07 03:13:55 GMT2012-05-07 11:13:55(Beijing Time)

Klout has had a busy few weeks, unleashing an iPhone app, brand pages and a new API. But more changes are on deck.

Klout CEO Joe Fernandez hinted at those developments on stage and backstage at Mashable Connect in Orlando.

The San Francisco-based startup will announce this month four more partners for its version of brand pages -- Brand Squads. The feature launched in April with Red Bull.

Fernandez also says users should anticipate a redesigned website this year, possibly rolling out this summer.

Klout's February acquisition of BlockBoard, an app that gives people a way to communicate with neighbors, will eventually spawn a new local feature on Klout. Fernandez was sparse on details but says ideas are still in "white board" phase.

"We're going to be an incredible tool to help people; right now we're just a benchmark," Fernandez said in an onstage interview with Mashable's Lance Ulanoff.

Fernandez, aware of some of the negative feedback people dish about Klout, asserts that the good and bad buzz is a "huge victory."

"There's no way to get around the fact that we put a number next to your face and it's tied to your ego," he says. "I think the controversy and conversation around what we're doing is ultimately good. The world is changing and we're doing something completely new."

The still-in-beta Klout measures influence on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Foursquare to assign Klout users scores from 0 to 100, but it's algorithm is hush-hush so people don't game the system.

Prodded by Ulanoff to disclose more details about the algorithm, Fernandez discussed Klout's evolution of tracking influence, saying calculations began on an Excel spreadsheet before becoming too "dynamic" for that as more social networks were integrated onto Klout.

"We generally look at Twitter, Facebook and Google+," he says. But "there's definitely a weighting system."

He also reminded the audience that the algorithm measures each user's top social network first -- primarily Twitter or Facebook -- and the others are additive, meaning adding more networks would never lower a person's Klout score.

"I don't think we've really built the real Klout product yet -- what you see now on Klout is just a thin layer of what the data is," Fernandez says. "It's something we're excited to move beyond."



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