Social sharing facilitator ShareThis today announced a new service to be fully unveiled early in 2012: Social Quality Index (SQI).

According to the company blog, ShareThis SQI will provide a quantifiable index of the social effectiveness of individual content pieces on a publisher’s site. They are calling the new metric “transformative,” and they just might be right. Up to now publishers and advertisers were dependent upon just traffic and reach in evaluating the potential of content pages. SQI will set out to add the measurement of the level of sharing or any particular content page into the mix. According to ShareThis, the Social Quality Index

  • favors rich content and audience interaction over broad reach
  • identifies users with higher purchase intent
  • identifies audiences who are more likely to disseminate content widely
ShareThis hopes that SQI will help publishers to attract more advertisers to their best content, while at the same time allowing advertisers to better place their ads where they will be most effective.
However, with the current wave of bad feeling toward social influence measurer Klout, ShareThis will have to demonstrate that SQI is both valid and not easily gamed.