In a previous announcement, PeerIndex (a direct competitor to Klout which claims to be a more “accurate assessment of personal influence”) released a new Firefox plugin for their social capital analytics platform. This time around, PeerIndex is rolling out a new feature that allows you to log in through Facebook — a login feature that was formerly only open to Twitter users.
PeerIndex is a London-based startup that hopes to facilitate both product sampling for brand consumers on the platform, as well as drive positive word of mouth marketing activities. It focuses on topic-specific influencers and experts on social media while capturing influence across a broad range of services including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora, WordPress and Blogger.
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The move to now allow logging in via Facebook appears to come purely from a statistical standpoint with CEO of PeerIndex’s Azeem Azhar stating,
“This expansion opens up a whole new user-base for us. There are currently around 750 million people with Facebook accounts, compared to around 200 million Twitter users, so in essence this opens PeerIndex to around 550 million extra people.
However, it is not all about user numbers. PeerIndex is dedicated to identifying the quality and influence of those on social media by topic area, this announcement just opens up the service to a much larger pool of users.”
There is still room to improve.
While I agree this is a worthwhile update and will surely improve the quality of the stats PeerIndex provides, I still feel it has some way to go before it meets the quality standards I’d expect from a site that tracks user reputation.
Taking, for example, Azhar’s statement above that PeerIndex is dedicated to identifying the quality and influence of those on social media by “topic area”. Naturally this draws my attention to the actual topic area within the PeerIndex platform. Here is what my Topic Selection looks like:
Hold on a minute — Gaming, I get (I used to write frequently for various news outlets online in gaming media and am fairly well known in the gaming community). Though where exactly did “Art History”, “China”, and “Royalty and nobility” come from?
This is one area that baffles me in terms of helping identify what my quality and influence is across certain topics. I am certainly not the type of person who decides to (or even chooses to for working reasons) discuss China or Royalty and nobility. Nowhere on my Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or website RSS feed does it make any mention of the proposed topics.
I am the sort of individual who feels that if one aspect of a social service is “broken” (especially a feature that is meant to be one of the main attractions to PeerIndex), I lose faith in the service’s entire ability to accurately assess my social score.
Having used Klout myself, I have seen this same feature integrated into their platform in a way that makes more sense. Klout users active on the service can vote up (or “give +K” to) topics that they feel are actually relevant to the individual’s influence score. From both testing PeerIndex and being active on Klout, my general reaction is that PeerIndex has a bit of catching up to do (or at least needs to find a better way to properly execute the features they believe they are most efficient in).
Fortunately, the service is far from being “complete” and is actually still in Beta mode. Go ahead and take PeerIndex through a test run as what may be the case for me is, of course, not the case for all.
A deeper look at the team behind PeerIndex
Founded in 2009 by Internet entrepreneur and investor Azheem Azhar, former EIC of the Ecomomist Bill Emmott, and Ditlev Schwanenflugel of McKinsey & Co, PeerIndex currently has a staff of 8 team members working diligently to improve and grow the service.
Some of their more notable investors include Stefan Glaenzer (co-founder of companions.de, companionsTV, ricardo.de and myblog.de), Sherry Coutu (an angel investor with decades of experience serving companies which range from fast growth private early stage to public and boards with turnover of more than £ 1 bn), and Shamil Chandaria (Non-Executive Chairman of Omnifone’s Board of Directors).
How are you using the service and what are your experiences on the platform? Tell me in the comments below.