Twitter Influence Tool Gets Game-Like Achievements

Adam DuVander
May. 31 2010, 12:10AM EDT

Klout is turning Twitter into a game. As you tweet and connect with other Twitter users, you earn badges for notable achievements. For example, when you're mentioned by 100 unique users, or have a message retweeted by 25 people, your Klout profile gets a pretty new graphic. The data behind this can be used to determine influential Twitter users.

Klout uses Twitter's API to analyze user data. In addition to the achievements, Klout also classifies users into one of sixteen influencer types, such as curator or socializer. You can get a feel for how the site works in the screencast embedded below.

Despite the game-like achievements, the service isn't just for fun. Over 250 companies are using Klout to find influential users, according to TechCrunch. Most aren't using Klout via its website, but instead its own Klout API, which provides influence scores and classifications. For example, CoTweet shows the influence rating to its users, who may be performing customer support. A complaint might be more likely to be elevated if the customer has a higher Klout rank.

At first blush, Klout may seem like the PageRank for Twitter service we wrote about. While both mine data for meaning, Klout looks for influence, while Trst.me aims to emulate the algorithm Google may use to rank users.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

Comments

Comments(6)

It's certainly a better game than Farmville! You actually have to have some credibility while playing, and try to get people to help you earn achievements. An interesting experiment might be to try and build a personal business brand while you play the game. Then you can see how well it correlates to actually influencing your customers and followers. If your business influence is doing really well and your Klout rating is still very low, then maybe it still needs some tweaking. It's also a good way to set goals for your social media usage, if you are trying to get started in becoming a bigger part of social media.

julie

Thanks for the article! It's nice to see Klout is growing. But unfortunately, Klout does not seem to adapt when your account variable change over time (ex: followers, following, listed, etc) would you know how to "update" my Klout score? As an example, I see 300 followers less than my actual followers... Would be more fun is updated regularly. And how accountable is Klout if never updated?

I have been using Klout for about 2 months now and find it a useful service in identifying influencial people to connect to. I've found my "Followers" grow rapidly as I become socially connected to those with higher Klout rankings. Thie idea of using a Klout score to give more credibility to a complaint is an interesting thought