Klout is spreading its Perks program, launched in 2010, across the Web and into the real world, the company said on Wednesday.
The social media influence scorer released an updated iPhone app that notifies users that their influence profile and score make them eligible for a deal at a particular merchant. Users can claim the deals using a smartphone. Previously, users could only claim their deals from a desktop.
The Klout app also features Passbook integration, so users can show merchants their scores. Visions of geeks trying to parlay their online influence into real-world prestige danced in our heads. But Klout insisted the Passbook cards would be used in more structured ways.
“With Passbook, you get a Klout Card that has your name, photo and Klout Score on it. When local merchants implement a Klout program, you’ll be able to use the Klout Card as verification of your Score,” Klout spokesperson Lynn Fox clarified in an email.
But there aren’t any activations of the Klout Card yet, Fox said.
In the same blog post, Klout announced the first company to embrace Klout’s recently released software development kit, which allows merchants to post and validate Klout Perks on their own websites. The sole launch partner is 500px, a Toronto-based digital photo company.
Klout and its main competitor, Kred, are jostling for dominance by leveraging rewards programs. The scoring systems have clearer benefits for merchants than for users, and the rewards are designed to lure more users to the services. But based on the dearth of merchant launch partners for the extended Perks programs, it seems Klout may be struggling to get businesses to buy in, too.
The company says it has delivered 800,000 Perks through more than 450 partners.