Klout just took a second swing at a mobile app, and this time around the software takes a new approach. Now Klout's main task is to push users to engage with their social networks more aggressively and with smarter things to say.
As a matter of fact, Klout version 2.0 looks more like a news reader than the company's past offering. The company's first stab at phone software was heavily geared toward checking your personal level of social influence, the custom-calculated Klout score, and of course, measuring how you stack up against others in your circles.
It's quite clear the folks behind Klout designed the whole layout of its fresh application to accomplish one singular purpose. Simply put, the new Klout is made to help you look more intelligent and become more popular. Here's how it works, or at least how the firm envisions the function of the solution.
The app lets you browse a selection of articles which it creates by both scanning what your contacts have shared already, and based on topics Klout feels you have particular expertise in. You then promote the content, which are links to articles and such, by flicking their associated window box into a space at the top of the screen. To add greater context and a personal touch to what you share, you can also pin photos, text, and location info to news stories and articles.
Also new are tags which Klout places on each piece of content it suggests. For example a "hidden gem" tag identifies an article which hasn't been seen by the majority of your audience. Other tags include, "hot off the press" and "on the rise" to help users sift through material.
At this point the Klout app is only offered on iOS, but according to Klout an Android version is in the works.
The big question, however, is whether this automated style of culling and promoting Internet material will actually make you sound more important. It goes without saying that the Klout team believes so. Based on data gleaned from its similar desktop solution, the company claims people who used its social sharing advice enjoyed a two-point bump (in their Klout score) compared with those who did not.
That said, I'm not certain how Klout's measurement for social influence is really created. And I'd bet I'm not in the minority when I say I'd rather choose material to promote across the Internet myself -- not have a robot do it for me. In my mind the whole concept of being an expert on any topic hinges on the fact that you're the one doing the talking. Of course, we're entering a brave new world of automatic news summaries thanks to Yahoo, so I suppose anything is possible.