Klout, the company that assigns scores to Twitter users based on their alleged influence has released a Chrome Extension that lets users see Klout scores for Twitter users right from the Twitter timeline.
"Klout Score" is described as the measurement of your overall online influence. The official description says:
The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout uses over 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.
True Reach is the size of your engaged audience and is based on those of your followers and friends who actively listen and react to your messages. Amplification Score is the likelihood that your messages will generate actions (retweets, @messages, likes and comments) and is on a scale of 1 to 100. Network score indicates how influential your engage audience is and is also on a scale from 1 to 100. The Klout score is highly correlated to clicks, comments and retweets.
Klout's Philip Hotchkiss says, "We've found it particularly useful when applied to Twitter lists. Now you can check out people’s relative influence within any Twitter list. Or conversely, it’s fun to build new Twitter lists based on people’s Klout scores."
I don't know how much stock you should put in Klout scores. Looking at my own "klout", it tells me I'm influenced by Shaq. I forgot I was even following Shaq. I don't care if I retweeted something he said a year and a half ago (if that is the case), Shaq does not influence my daily life in any way. I love his brand of hip hop and all, but I can't tell you the last time I actually read one of his tweets.
Beth Teitell at The Boston Globe says, "Klout.com is one of a number of new status-measuring tools aimed at making social networking more like high school than it already is."
Marketers will continue to have fun analyzing Klout, and hoping it somehow helps their visibility in Twitter and perhaps even Google, but I'd be more concerned with Google's new social search update, which puts real connections into the results mix. I might see Shaq tweets in there, but it's not because he's influential. It's because I'm following him. If anything, Google could make Shaq more influential to me.
And believe it or not, you don't even have to be on Twitter to be an influencer.
The Chrome Extension is available here.