Microsoft strengthing social search with a stake in Klout

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It seems Klout isn’t stupid after all… at least, Microsoft doesn’t seem to think so. The software giant has inked a deal with the social reputation startup to help strengthen its social search and online influence for an undisclosed amount. This partnership with Microsoft will help the startup create a product and business relationship with the Bing team, along with some new funding.

According to a blog post by Bing’s Corporate Vice President’s Derrick Connell, it is an “alliance based on a shared belief that people are at the center of task completion”.

“To help you find the right person we need to determine who is influential and trusted on different topics on the web. Bing and Klout share this vision. In addition to the technical partnership described below, we are announcing that we are making a strategic investment in Klout.”

Users will start seeing Klout scores show up in Bing. The first stage will show Klout scores for friends in the “People Who Know” section of the right-hand column, with other third parties already in there, such as Twitter, Foursquare and Quora. So when you search for something, it will pull up experts in that field. Hover over an expert’s name, and their Klout score will appear, along with their Klout-determined areas of expertise.

According to Klout CEO Joe Fernandez, the startup will be incorporating search information from Bing into its algorithm.

As part of our partnership, Bing will provide additional data to Klout. Search data has long been one of the missing signals in our effort to fully recognize a person’s influence. Just as Wikipedia articles can reflect a person’s real world influence, search results for a person signal accomplishments achieved beyond social networks and serve to influence others. There will be two data points from Bing that will initially be highlighted as part of Klout moments.

What’s pretty interesting here is the dealing is reportedly not exclusive to either party, so Google may approach Klout and form such a partnership, and Microsoft can approach another social media influence measurement site.

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