If social media is like high school, Klout is the company that not only knows how cool you are, it gives you an actual grades you out of 100. In Silicon Valley, it's easier tell how cool you are by how much another company is willing to pay to own you. Klout is suddenly very popular.
Recode's Liz Gaines and Kara Swisher report that Lithium Technologies is purchasing Klout, the social analytics company, for a price somewhere "in the low nine figures." That means something greater than $100 million but less than, say, $500 million. Lithium Technologies is a "social customer experience management software for the enterprise" company. Or, in simpler terms, they handle social media for major companies like AT&T, Best Buy, and Skype. The Next Web argues the deal makes plenty of sense for both sides.
The sale (or the amount at least) was a surprise, honestly, because Klout is silly. The company measures your "worth" on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and other social media sites, and then gives you a score out of a hundred. It's a product for the vain, for the fameballs, the ones who want to measure how cool they are in the Internet's proverbial cafeteria. No one would expect that to sell for so much, though Lithium is likely paying for Klout's data and personnel as much as anything. No one really cares that you got a +K for knowing a lot about genetic engineering, but here we are, and now no one really knows how to process the news:
Snapchat, Rap Genius, Klout... It's not bubble, it's a bro-ble.— Christopher Mims (@mims) February 11, 2014
low nine figures http://t.co/E6CpZty4Qw LOW NINE FIGURES— John Herrman (@jwherrman) February 11, 2014
My autocorrect keeps changing ‘Klout’ to Klimt. Which is appropriate because a 9 figure deal for Klout is also a study in eroticism.— Matthew Panzarino (@panzer) February 11, 2014