Bing announced today that it has entered into a partnership with Klout, including an strategic investment in the company. This, a Bing spokesperson tells WebProNews, is aimed at "strengthening social influence data on both the Bing and Klout platforms."
"There will be more to come down the road," he says, but the first things users will notice about the partnership are Klout data surfacing on Bing's sidebar and highlights from Bing surfacing in the "moments" section of some people's Klout profiles.
On the Bing sidebar, you might see a persona's Klout score and topics they're influential about. "This will help people connect with the right experts on the things they’re searching for," the Bing spokesperson says.
Regarding the Bing "highlights" on Klout, he adds, "These Bing 'highlights' may include the number of times a person shows up as an expert in the 'People Who Know' section of Bing’s sidebar or the volume/frequency of searches for that person, demonstrating how search can be a powerful new indicator of online influence."
"This is just the beginning of a new partnership between the two companies, and another great example of Bing’s commitment to working with industry partners to not only expand its social experience and help people do more with search, but to bring search as a signal into other social experiences," he says.
It's unclear how much Microsoft has invested in Klout. Update: Microsoft gave us the following statement from Bing Corporate Vice President, Derrick Connell: “We aren’t disclosing specific terms of the investment.”
Michael Arrington of CrunchFund, an investor in Klout, says, "The reason Klout was able to get a deal like this done is because they have a lot (a whole lot) of data on people. This data, along with the fact that they remain a neutral party working with all the giants, allows them to create a sort of Page Rank that tells others how influental you are in given areas."
According to Eric Eldon at TechCrunch, the deal is not exclusive, indicating that Klout could, theoretically, become a ranking factor in Google.
Since rolling out the social sidebar back in May, Bing has added several new features, including Quora and Foursquare data.