Lithium Technologies paid $200 million for Klout, the social media scorekeeper, in a deal made official today. Lithium CEO Rob Tarkoff said the addition of Klout signifies a relaunch for his company.
“This is less about Lithium acquiring a company and technology, it’s actually redefining who Lithium is,” Tarkoff said in a news conference.
Lithium already helps brands manage their online and social media activity, and Klout was built to give everyday users social media tools to manage their activity.
Klout, founded by Joe Fernandez in 2008, attempts to measure how influential social media users are, and gives marketers a way to connect with online tastemakers. The company was an early advocate of this marketing tactic that has since become core to most brands’ social media strategies—targeting influencers.
Now, Lithium will integrate Klout to help brands better engage consumers online. Marketing on social media is changing, and the line between customer service and advertising is blurring. The acquisition helps Lithium “bridge the worlds of service and marketing,” Tarkoff said.
There have been skeptics of Klout’s business model and whether it was worth the $200 million price. Tarkoff said it was an all-stock deal, while Fernandez claimed that Klout generated $10 million in revenue last year.