The idea of social influence scoring appears to tickle some folks the wrong way. After reporting on the Fashion’s Night Out event hosted by Bal Harbour Shops where only the socially-high-scored elite could attend, both my inbox and Twitter feed flooded with surprised feedback. Some social media junkies were genuinely excited about the news, while others were simply dumbfounded.

Klout, the social analytics tool behind the controversy, appears unaffected by the reaction one way or another and is, instead, working on rolling out new features for its users to enjoy. Joe Fernandez, CEO at Klout, reached out to me directly to give us early access.

Topic Pages are here.

If you’ve been curious about which social influencers are leading the way in specific categories, there’s now an in-depth way to take a peek. They’re called Topic Pages, categorized pages that tell us who the top influencers in a category are, who’s been receiving the most +K (topical social influence points given by the Klout community), as well as the most influential content under that category.

These results aren’t static, of course. If you’ve been using Klout long enough, you’ll see that your score regularly fluctuates to reflect your current social influence level. Topic Pages do the same — rankings change daily based on the content created.

Screen Shot 2011 09 15 at 8.43.40 AM 520x357 Social analytics tool Klout rolls out Topic Pages

Screen Shot 2011 09 15 at 9.25.14 AM 520x372 Social analytics tool Klout rolls out Topic Pages

Screen Shot 2011 09 15 at 9.24.21 AM 520x372 Social analytics tool Klout rolls out Topic Pages

“This is a big step for us in turning Klout into more of a utility around search and discover instead of pure vanity of checking your score. This is a really early version of where we plan to take this but it speaks to our belief that every person who creates content has influence. Our goal is just to understand what they are influential about and who they influence.”

Joe Fernandez, CEO at Klout

It’s interesting that Fernandez notes the vanity metric — it’s true that Klout’s often been referenced as a quick-checking tool for ego boosting. With this new feature rolling out, however, Klout is addressing this issue directly, focusing more on what exactly determines social influence rather than a score that only leaves us guessing. Klout notes that this is just the beginning, as it plans to add further analytics, trends, and related content over the coming months.

How to use Topic Pages

For now, only users who opted into the Topic Pages perk last month have access to the new feature. Klout encourages users who want to check it out to keep coming back as they’ll be rolling it out slowly (though it also hints that tweeting for early access couldn’t hurt).

After receiving a notification that you’ve been granted access, these topic pages can be browsed by clicking on any topic listed on the site (though there will be more discovery and search options in the future).

Top influencers and content in a topic page are curated based on “interactions and engagement from other topical influencers on content relating to a specific topic.” Klout also selects topical content based on related influencers and their interaction with topical content.

Of course, the entirety of Klout is technically still in beta, so we can’t expect the tool to be absolutely perfect just yet. To those of you looking forward to seeing where Klout is going (and perhaps to those of you who are secretly hoping it will fail), what do you think? As usual, weigh in below.