From Yahoo! to Facebook to Quora, social sites have long been struggling to leverage the Q&A format successfully. Today Klout officially enters the ‘social answers’ space with a unique proposition, integration with Bing search — outside of the social search bar and into a big bold listing within the main search pane.
The new ‘Klout Experts’ product leverages answers from top Klout users and influencers. These top Klout users have been asked questions that prompt a simple 300 character response directed to a topic that the user is influential in.
For example, a photographer may have been asked, “What the Best Value SLR camera on the market?” The questions only require simple responses to make the experience painless and quick. From the responses, Klout will then choose which answers will be displayed on Bing. As of today, roughly 15% of users will have access to Klout Experts when logged into their Klout account. The Klout Experts access launched today are for those influential in:
For Bing, this integration will be displayed as in-line answers in the main pane, not the social bar like most other social content. When an answer is displayed, the results will be clickable and direct searchers to the Klout profile of the respondent.
Klout Expert data will only be occurring for a small number of queries to start, but the Klout Team is hoping to roll this out for hundreds of millions of queries down the road. Klout CEO, Joe Fernandez, stated the following about Klout Expert answers integration with Bing:
“There are hundreds of millions of queries where people can provide better results than machines … we are really inspired by the search through people concept. Klout Experts will curate what people are looking for and provide answers from experts on the topic.”
Mr. Fernandez stated that Klout already has over 150 thousand answers accumulated from previous tests. So, where do the questions asked come from? According to Klout, the questions originate from Bing search results that provide unsatisfactory answers and need better results.
Late last year, Microsoft became one of Klout’s most significant partners, thanks to an undisclosed investment. The context of human answers from pre-qualified authors makes quite a bit of sense for Microsoft. The ability to view the trust of a respondent has been something lacking in all other social answer services.
While Klout Experts features search integration with Bing, the data can also be found on Klout’s answer pages. Much like Quora, Klout will feature index-able answer pages that aggregate and highlight expert responses like these live examples. Users will also be able to increase their Klout score by answering questions.
This new product is launching today for roughly 15% of Klout users; but, they are looking for a fast rollout to the masses. Mr. Fernandez stated that they’d like to see full access in “weeks, not months.”
More information can be found on the official Klout blog post.