So Is That Why You Made All Those Changes? Lithium Technologies to Buy Klout

In the lead up to its reported IPO, Lithium Technologies is buying Klout.

kloutWe were supposed to have a call with Klout yesterday after posting this story about all the changes the company made to launch #NewKlout. But at the last minute, we were told something came up and the call would have to be postponed. That something was likely the news that the company was being purchased by Lithium Technologies for at least $100 million.

According to the scoop by Re/code, Lithium, a company that provides “social customer experience management software for the enterprise,” is preparing for an IPO. And the two companies complement each other.

“It’s a dead-on fit in terms of topic focus for the two companies, but it’s also a save for San Francisco-based Klout…” Re/code continues. Mashable speculates that Lithium was attracted to Klout for Business’ 200,000 users.

In light of the sale, it’s worth it to take another look at all of the Klout updates.

Klout will now feed content of interest to users that can then be shared with followers. In doing so, CEO Joe Fernandez said they’re answering the most asked question the site gets: How do I raise my score?

Mashable, in a separate story, asks pertinent questions: When was the last time you checked or cared about your Klout score?

“Now it won’t just measure your score and offer dubious perks, it will also provide you with a stream of content you’ll most likely to want to share, actively boosting your score. It went from playing the referee to playing the coach,” the article says.

The article goes into detail about Klout’s history. Perhaps most interesting are the contradictory feelings people have about the whole idea of assigning someone a score for their online presence: on the one hand, it’s nice having a high score and enjoying the perks (even if they are just McNuggets) that come with it. On the other hand, people don’t appreciate “elitism,” especially when they’re not on the winning end of it. Klout has gotten a fair amount of backlash for calculating a score that some say is arbitrary and for creating an upper class of social media citizens.

Ultimately, this Mashable article gives the latest version of Klout high scores for suggesting lots of content that the author ultimately wanted to share. And that content goes out with a special Klout URL, a plus for the brand. But going back to the original point, this is a big shift for Klout. A shift made more dramatic now that it’s becoming part of another company. Here’s a blog post that answers the FAQs about #NewKlout. It’ll be interesting to see if this union will lead to further Klout changes.