In on so­cial

Finweek English Edition - - TECHNOLOGY - Si­mon Din­gle

and opt in to be­ing com­mu­ni­cated with. They can then choose to par­tic­i­pate in cam­paigns and will be paid for their con­tri­bu­tions.

Shar­man and Legg said that DJ Fresh was one of the big­gest South African celebri­ties to sign up for Webflu­en­tial of his own vo­li­tion. With over 450 000 fol­low­ers, the 5FM DJ’s tweets also won’t come cheap, al­though the Webflu­en­tial team doesn’t want to share ex­act num­bers. This is some­thing that is de­cided on by the inf lu­encer and ad­ver­tis­ers, al­though the sys­tem does make rec­om­men­da­tions.

Webflu­en­tial also uses an al­go­rithm to dis­tin­guish real fol­low­ers on so­cial net­works from fake ones and iden­tify the true reach that some­one has on Twit­ter, for ex­am­ple. It also iden­ti­fies ar­eas of in­ter­est so that you don’t in­vite the fa­mous host of a cook­ing show to a launch for a new car oil, or what­ever.

In its f irst three weeks, Webflu­en­tial man­aged to get 300 South African inf lu­encers signed up to the plat­form and has at­tracted some in­di­vid­u­als from other coun­tries too. Shar­man and Legg said that the am­bi­tion is to be glob­ally avail­able from the get-go. The plat­form also has some agency clients signed up and al­ready us­ing the plat­form too.

Webflu­en­tial has also an­a­lysed 2.1m tweets so far as it gets smarter about who is tweet­ing about what. The plat­form also mon­i­tors and in­te­grates with Face­book, In­sta­gram, YouTube and other so­cial me­dia ser­vices.

While some will take eth­i­cal ex­cep­tion to pay­ing for tweets, Shar­man said that Webflu­en­tial wants to make things more trans­par­ent.

“Peo­ple are al­ready tweet­ing about things they like or sup­port. Webflu­en­tial wants to pro­mote trans­parency and en­able inf lu­encers to be re­warded … We will make it ob­vi­ous when some­one is tweet­ing as part of a cam­paign,” he said.

As far as we can tell, there’s noth­ing quite like Webflu­en­tial out there al­ready, so this South African start-up may be on to some­thing big.

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