Influence: What’s a tweet worth? Nobody knows, but some people are cashing in.
Pictured here is $50 worth of merchandise that Julie Dance, a working mother who blogs under the name Angry Julie, purchased with a Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card she received from Klout, a three-year-old startup that scores people from 1 to 100 according to their influence on social networks such as Twitter and Google+. Just what determines the scores isn’t clear, but companies including Disney and Audi are paying Klout for the chance to send freebies and “perks” to influential social-media figures like Dance, who has 7,000 Twitter followers and a score of 59. Though she posted this photo online, she wasn’t under any obligation to mention that gift or the other 11 perks she has received.
So far, there’s no widely accepted formula for measuring online influence. For instance, one online estimator values Angry Julie’s Twitter account at $996.50, while another says it is worth $2,448. That would mean each of the blogger mom’s 32,800 tweets thus far is worth between 3 and 7 cents.