Okay, this won’t be a permanent condition, but Jasu, a forthcoming Australian e-commerce venture, is building buzz by restricting who can shop the site based on their Klout scores. Klout measures users’ social influence on a score of 1 to 100 (as an example, the site rates Kim Kardashian at 91 but Kanye West at 78).
Jasu plans, for the first two weeks after the site launches on Monday, to provide access only to those with Klout scores of 40 and above. The idea, of course, is to actively engage with socially connected, influential customers. But will they be doing so at the expense of alienating regular people? Advertising to known influencers make sense, but why not do it while letting average Joes — or hey, those people who just haven’t registered on Klout — shop the site?
It’s a weird way to wield social media, and we’re interested to see how it works. Heretofore, the point of reaching out to an audience through online social networks has always been to connect with and include as wide an audience as possible. What will happen after Jasu’s restricted two weeks is over? We’ll be on the lookout to see whether the ploy attracts or repels a mainstream clientele.