Online communities firm Lithium has announced the acquisition of social influence company Klout.

CNN reports that the company was sold for $200 million. Klout was founded in 2008 to measure the online influence of social media users and now claims to have upwards of 500 million social profiles indexed.

According to Lithium, the acquisition creates one of the biggest datasets of consumer attitudes, preferences, and activities on digital digital channels. With the added capabilities that Klout brings to the company, Lithium intends to deliver more services built around advocacy, loyalty, and enhanced profiles.

Trusted connection

"With Klout, Lithium fully delivers on its vision of building a trusted online connection between consumers and the brands they care about," said Rob Tarkoff, Lithium President and CEO. "Trust is the currency online. For consumers, a trusted expert provides greater confidence in making purchases and getting advice. For brands, building a trusted reputation allows them to better find and keep customers."

Klout will continue to operate and deliver its existing services to its users. The company claims that its Klout Score is the standard of influence online and is increasingly aiming to help users and organisations share content and build brand.

Next step

In a blog post on the company's website, Klout's co-founder Joe Fernandez wrote: "As Klout takes the next step toward helping our users maximize their impact online, I believe that Lithium is the ideal partner.

"Lithium powers many of the most vibrant communities online for leading brands like Spotify, Skype and Sephora. Together, we can do more to help you share your passions, measure your impact, and grow your reputation."