By Francesca James, @francescaajames, www.letsgetsocialat.blogspot.com

For those of you who aren't familiar with Klout here is a short introduction.

Klout is a tool that measures social influence across online social platforms. In a nutshell, the higher your Klout score, the higher your social influence.

The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing users with a higher social influence across their networks. Klout calculates this score using over 35 variables on both Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.

Klout say that:

‘We believe that influence is the ability to drive people to action -- "action" might be defined as a reply, a retweet, a comment, or a click’

This week, they’ve introduced a new feature that they’re calling +K, and it’s simply the ability to vouch and back up your peers’ influence and expertise on given topics.

Before this was introduced the score couldn’t be directly influenced by someone else but +K will allow users to validate and improve another users authority score if that person has influenced them on a topic. Users get up to five +Ks every day that they can give to any user in any topic.

Currently, all of those topics are generated by Klout’s algorithms, but they have said that they plan to let users put forward their own topics in the future.

Klout HQ say that:

‘At Klout, we believe influence is the ability to drive action. We also believe influence is temporal — that is, you constantly need to drive action in order to remain influential in a topic. We believe the +K system stays true to those ideals.’

If you haven’t already, you can claim your Klout score/profile here: http://beta.klout.com/home