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Bing and Klout partner to offer social influence data in search results

Bing is teaming up with Klout to enhance Web discovery and influence.

The alliance is based on a shared belief that to help users find the right answers, developers need to determine who is influential and trusted on different topics, Derrick Connell, Bing corporate vice president, wrote in a blog post.

Similarly, Klout CEO Joe Fernandez wrote in a separate post that the organisation's vision is to help people understand their influence, and be recognised for it.

Already, Klout Scores and influential topics are listed under the "People Who Know" section of Bing's social sidebar.

"I was surprised a few months ago after meeting with the Microsoft Bing leadership to learn how much our visions overlapped," Fernandez wrote. "[We] both believe that the growth of the social web and the increasing importance of your online identity are fundamentally transforming the Internet, making it even more important to understand people, not just pages."

The companies have done more than simply join hands; Microsoft has made a strategic investment in Klout, but did not disclose how much. Klout did say, however, that it has "signed a multi-year agreement where Bing will become one of Klout's most significant partners."

Klout said Bing will provide it with additional search data, a long-time missing piece of the user-influence puzzle.

"Just like Wikipedia articles can reflect a person's real world influence, search results for a person signal accomplishments achieved beyond social networks and serve to influence others," he wrote.

Initially, experts who appear in Bing's "People Who Know" section will be recognised on Klout, and those who have a Wikipedia account associated with their Klout profile will earn points for the frequency at which they are searched on Bing.

Bing's social network already includes Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Quora.