- 3 years ago

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Klout, the company that measures your social networking influence, has recently rolled out some interesting new features. The question is, do people still believe in Klout?

It used to be kind of fun back in its early days. But over the past year or so, a lot of people have widely criticized the idea of assigning a quantifiable score to users based on just a few seemingly insignificant ways that they use Facebook or Twitter.

A massive Klout overhaul was launched a couple of months ago aimed to credit real-world influence so Klout measurement feels more legitimate. Now Klout is trying to encourage influencers to carry their scores around with them outside of the site, with rewards offered to those who do it.

500px, a Toronto-based premium photo community, is the first company to partner with Klout by integrating its new KloutPass SDK. The SDK allows Klout partners to authenticate and register users with Klout.

So, if you’d like to sign up for a new 500px account, you’re eligible to receive savings based on your Klout Score when you sign up through Klout. According to the 500px site, anyone with a Klout Score of 90 or above qualifies for a reward of 100%, or a free premium account for one year.

Signing up for a 500px account through Klout shows that I have a Klout Score of 44, which means I get a 35% discount. Instead of $49.95 per year for an Awesome account, I only have to pay $32.47. Or for a Plus account at $19.95 per year, I have to pay $12.97.

The introduction of the KloutPass SDK is kind of an extension of the company’s “Perks” offering, which are rewards given to users from partnered companies as a recognition of your influence. Whether it’s a $25 gift card or a free trial for something, users are notified on their Klout dashboard when a new Perk becomes available to them.

For marketing-minded people, Klout Perks and the new KloutPass SDK present some great opportunities for both businesses and customers. And it’ll be interesting to see which other businesses in addition to 500px start offering discounts or other rewards to users through analyzing a user’s Klout Score.

But Klout’s way of distilling interaction into a somewhat meaningless number continues to be a pretty big annoyance across the web. The idea of judging individuals based on Klout Score in place of personal characteristics has angered a lot of people, and the launch of Klouchebag earlier this year tried to prove just how worthless Klout Scores can really be.

Some companies have started looking for job applicants that ideally have a minimum Klout Score to be considered as a potential candidate. And with the most recent Klout update, which integrates Klout with iOS Passbook to create a personal “Klout Card” that can be shown off from your iPhone, there’s a possibility that future digital events might be crazy enough to require you to flash your Klout Card as a pass to get in.

For now, be on the lookout for more businesses jumping on board with Klout Perks or the KloutPass SDK. If you’re the equivalent of Justin Bieber or Kim Kardashian on social media, your massively fabulous Klout Score could get you a significant discount.