Did you see a jump in your Klout score? If so, it may be because today Klout added Google+ data to their algorithm. If you’re active on Google+ and have other influencers in your circles, you might see a jump.
I have 426 people in circles, 3,286 people have me in their circles, and I have one Google+ business page for my blog. My Klout went up one point. So much for that, eh?
The issue really is this; does anyone still care? (Other than me, since I’m writing this, obviously.) The fact is that people are canceling their Klout accounts in droves.
My friend Lynette, founder of the Women of Google+, told me that she dumped her account a few weeks ago. Dresden of Creating Motherhood posted about quitting the service. So did Schmutzie. BlogHer posted about it. In fact, if you google “quitting Klout” there are hundreds of blog posts by social media members of all stripes closing out their account and opting out.
Why? I think that this post by PanMarketingNut lays out the arguments quite well (hat tip to Lynette for pointing it out to me). In particular, I was shocked to be made aware that even though Klout claims to be connected to ten different networks, they are in fact only connected to five (four at the time the article was written): Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and LinkedIn. The other accounts are connected, but the data from those networks are not a factor in Klout scores.
This blog post at Social Media Today has some strong words about quitting the service too, in particular calling into question the monetary motivation of Klout since their primary goal is having an IPO. Post author Rohn Jay Miller says:
The fundamental evil of Klout is that it’s a venture capital-backed company looking to leverage into a big IPO payday and the only value proposition they offer is their ability to identify, train and exploit people they can sell to advertisers as “key influencers,” in a taxonomy of business interests.
What do these “key influencers” get for their efforts? Pennies. Swag. Chocolate bars. Little discounts. These people are the entire sum of the Klout value proposition. Klout exists for the benefit of advertisers, not for the people Klout measures and then chooses to engage.
Klout is trying to battle their losing numbers; in a recent blog post they attempted to address some of their criticisms by revealing more transparency in their scoring systems. They claim the new algorithm addresses three things: disparity between social networks, the “vacation problem” (i.e., you go on vacation and your scores drops because you take a few days off the internet), and interactions (i.e. retweets, etc). They also claim that more will be revealed in future posts.
From my corner of the internet, though, it looks like Klout has lost some pretty serious ground. I’m not sure how they can gain back the early enthusiasm folks had for the influence measuring service.
What about you? Will you keep your Klout account? If not, you can go here to opt out of the service. Good luck.