Klout has become a force to be reckoned with when it comes to social data. To those who understand the social platform, your Klout score has been something that is a quick, but interesting part of the conversation. It gives individuals a rough (usually “good enough”) representation of how you are performing in creating content that is relevant to your audience. That isâ€¦for the consumer and brands engaging in social media.
However, as a business, Klout also works as a marketing tool to those using Klout. You’ll see the “perks” page on Klout where business are able to provide deals to Klout users. From what I’ve seen, this is currently the only way they are monetizing. Previously, they did it by using the freemium model by only letting you see part of your profile for free. This can’t last very long.
As they continue to bring in more social networks, like they’ve recently done with LinkedIn, 4square, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, LastFM, Blogger and Flickr, they are continuing to build an extremely valuable database on consumers. Especially, technology savvy ones. The information in all these profiles are enough to make companies drooling and eager to get their hands on. From what all this data brought together, you could easily query your way to finding what makes each target segment tick and market to them more effectively. This will be a touchy subject when this happens, but it will make Klout a very interesting purchase by Salesforce, Nielsen or even Google. That’s not to say these companies aren’t trying to get this data themselves, but in this area where customers are willingly linking their profiles together, it’s going to tie be able to compete on a level that Qwerly and Rapleaf never could have.
What makes this a touchy subject for consumers, is that eventually, many will feel like their being watched too much and pull out. This could even be what gets the ball rolling in the wave of privacy.
Will the privacy wave come or will it pass just as the facebook and google+ privacy concerns come and go?