A Million Little Klouts

The influence measurement service suddenly finds itself battling back against a multitude of new competitors

Social media-loving ninjas, gurus, and wizards may once have touted their Klout. But if the recent spate of criticisms over the company’s privacy, transparency, and methodology is any indication, these days, Klout is out.

No matter. Influence measurement, a category practically invented by Klout, is quickly filling with also-rans eager to become the next Klout of, well, clout.

Kred launched this fall with a focus on analytics and marketing tools for brands. The company pays (dearly, apparently) for unique access to Twitters full “fire hose” of tweets, synthesizing them to sort influencers by communities of interests, as opposed to Klout’s topical “+K” categorization.Like Klout, the company assigns an influence score, but it also grades by how much you share the love, a metric it calls “outreach level.” Each point is traceable to the tweet that earned it. Andrew Grill, CEO of parent company PeopleBrowsr, says the level of transparency lends Kred its credibility with users. Though it’s still in private beta, a fashion brand and several agencies have signed on to use Kred’s data.

Meanwhile, PROskore launched two months ago as a slightly nerdier, more professional version of Klout. It measures influence beyond social media presence, taking past job titles, education, and experience into account. PROskore has more than 125,000 opt-in profiles, many of which are small business owners using the site for localized lead generation, says Bill Jula, CEO and co-founder.

And if, in another six months, Kred is dead and PROscore is no more, the social media ninjas, gurus, and wizards of the world won’t go without validation. The nascent influence measurement industry is already awash in tools to transform amateur social media stars into branding machines.