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Klout, the online social media influence rating service, made some big changes today that are sure to have people talking.
The changes, earlier described by Klout CEO Joe Fernandez as a "the biggest improvement to the Klout Score in our history" are likely to tweak many who use the service.
"This project represents the biggest step forward in accuracy, transparency and our technology in Klout’s history," says Ash Rust, Director of Ranking at Klout on the official Klout blog.
The changes include a more-detailed look on the Profile and Dashboard pages.
What’s the biggest change for most people? Officially, the Klout line is that scores will now be easier to understand. Unofficially many have seen their scores fall – in some cases significantly. Although Rust says this won’t be the case:
"A majority of users will see their Scores stay the same or go up but some users will see a drop," he says on the Klout blog.
But a quick check of the comments at the bottom of that blog post and comments on the Mashable story about the same subject indicate many scores dropped and some dropped significantly.
My favorite comment? From someone called Dolpher:
"I think Klout just pulled a Netflix... Most people have experienced big drops. Any bit of insight into human psychology would state that in general people do not like to see their 'worth' drop sign..."
Another … this from Peter Alderliesten:
"Some scores seem not to have been influenced at all, others seem to be totally 'devastated'. To keep faith/trust in this scoring algorithm, I think Klout should explain the scoring system more fully. Transparancy maybe? "
As with all change it won’t be easy for users to accept. The big question is this: Will the changes stick? In other words will people stay with a service that just knocked them down a few – or in some cases many – pegs?
What do you think?
Mike is a strategist and teacher who helps businesses and students understand and get the most from social media. He currently is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communication at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he teaches advertising, public relations and journalism (all with a social media twist).