When it comes to Facebook, Lyle Stevens’s two younger brothers couldn’t be more competitive. With one in middle school and the other in high school, they’re constantly bragging about how many friends they have or “likes” they’ve received, tallying their influence on Facebook with a point system they’ve personally created. After learning about their point system last Christmas, however, Stevens decided to make a point system of his own, establishing SplashScore, a new way to define your social influence on Facebook.
In 2011, Stevens co-founded a company called Apifia with his former Northeastern classmate Sean Naegeli. Together, the two decided to change the way social applications are being used, and chose to launch SplashScore as their first endeavor under the Apifia umbrella.
Two weeks ago, SplashScore was released in a closed beta environment on the Northeastern campus, and it’s already attracted more than 200 users. Through three core elements — pond, ripple and splash — students have been able to determine their social influence and compare their scores with friends.
“Take ‘big fish in a small pond’ and apply it in an algorithm fashion,” Stevens said.
To break it down: “Pond” represents your potential for feedback, and is composed of the amount of feedback on your wall plus the number of Facebook friends you have. “Ripple” symbolizes your actual feedback, and is determined through the number of likes and comments you receive on the site. For each like, you earn a point, and for each comment, you earn two. Your points are then multiplied by several factors, including how often you post and whether or not you’re constantly posting the same kind of content. Your points are then reflected in your “splash,” which is equal to your ripple divided by your pond, and voila; you have your social influence.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, because I thought it, too: How is this any different from Klout? Well, SplashScore analyzes its users’ every individual move. As opposed to, what Stevens called, Klout’s “black hole of a score,” SplashScore shows users exactly how their actions are being received, and then centers them around a competitive game, giving players the ability to collect different badges.
Stevens gave me access to the service, and I was surprised to find out I had already collected five badges without even having to do anything. Just by calculating my splash, I received a “Geronimooo.” I also became a “Big Fish,” because I have a higher splash than anyone else in my news feed. (Yet, I guess that’s a bit unfair, since nobody else is currently competing against me.)
Through the platform, I can see how my content individually breaks down and how I rank on the “Leaderboard” among my friends. As the service continues to develop and go public, Stevens said the top leaders will be given rewards, like coupons and exclusive access to events, from brands willing to participate.
As of now, SplashScore is only web-based within the Facebook frame, but the team is working on a mobile application that should be ready within the next three months. For those who want to see the application in action, however, they can head to Symphony 8 tonight between 7 and 10 p.m. Stevens has invited all current users and their friends to the restaurant, and will be providing food, music and free prizes. The current top five users on SplashScore have already been guaranteed giveaways, but raffle tickets will be awarded in accordance with who brings the largest crew. Think you can make a splash? Prove it.