Klout Takes Huge Step Toward Transparency, Real-World Metrics

Paul Simon Chief Communicator, SharperContent

Posted on August 14th 2012

Klout Takes Huge Step Toward Transparency, Real-World Metrics

With all the grumbling over Klout’s lack Imageof transparency and limited selection of social sources contributing to user scores, its announcement today about major changes it is making already is creating huge shock waves through the social world.

San Francisco-based Klout is getting a new look and expanded metrics in measuring our online influence. Key developments:

  • More transparency, via a feature called “moments” that highlights your recent social media activity. Yes, you now can see this yourself.
  • More data, a big move toward real-world influence. Twelve billion data points analyzed daily, up from 1 billion
  • Increased accuracy that reflects broader data (and higher scores for most of the 100 million users)

Klout CEO Joe Fernandez assures us that “with these updates, we’ve concentrated on helping everyone to gain a clearer, more accurate understanding of how they influence other people through the ideas they share.”

Will this assuage critics who’ve made Klout a favorite whipping boy?

Chris Voss, posting on his online Chris Voss Show, says it’s a big step in the right direction. Admittedly a fan of Klout from the outset who participates on a “Klout Squad” that provides advice and feedback to the company, believes the changes better measure users’ online influence.

He advocates greater patience as Klout improves its ability to integrate the right information into its methodology.

Other reactions to the announcement:

Klout Revamps, Delivers Reality Check

Biebs, move over for Obama: Klout score changes bring new users to the top

Klout Revises Its Algorithy – But Fear Not, It Says Most Scores Will Go Up

Big Changes Coming to Klout


Curiously, as USA Today reports, the changes raise President Obama’s Klout score to a near-perfect 99, from 94. But singing idol Justin Bieber drops from 100 to 92!

Social Media Today contributor Pam Moore wrote last November about Why I Deleted My Klout Profile and contributor Rohn Jay Miller penned a similar Delete Your Klout Profile Now!, so I await their verdict on this new development.

Prevous Klout-related posts:

 What is Klout and Why DO We Care? Or Do We?

Klout Responds to Questions and Critics

5 Conclusions from the New Klout Scoring & Changes

Stop the Social Puppetry for Klout ad Other Influence Metrics

Why people hate Klout, and how to fix it












Paul Simon

Chief Communicator, SharperContent

Paul Simon is the sole proprietor of SharperContent, providing the best in content and content editing and in webinar management. He previously was a senior site curator for Social Media and a manager of the Social Media Today group on LinkedIn. He previously was content manager of Candogo.com and editor for several other online sales communities. A former bureau chief for The Associated Press wire service, he also was employed as an editor at the Denver Post.

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Kent Ong
Posted on August 15th 2012 at 6:50AM

I still think that Klout can't measure quality of relationship. Sorry.

Posted on August 15th 2012 at 12:33PM

Probably true, Kent, but oh, the mind boggles in considering the parameters and criteria that might be instrumental in measuring that.

Christina Trapolino
Posted on August 15th 2012 at 2:42PM

I feel like the best advice Klout could give its members (and the best way to gain the trust of those who doubt the accuracy of the black box that is their scoring algorithm) is this:

Stop paying attention to Klout.  Do what you do.  We'll take care of the numbers.

The problem with Klout is the same problem Google has had with their search algorithms for years -- stubborn, influence-greedy system gamers whose main purpose in life is to get ahead by cheating.  Klout is going to have to stay innovative and in touch in order to stay one step ahead of those folks, and I don't yet trust them to do that.  

I'm not syaing I'd bet against them, but based on their behavior so far, I think they are interested in being an interaction platform themselves, and that's where -- in my opinion -- they've gone horribly wrong.  A +K should not factor into your score whatsoever, unless that +K can be given anonymously (but still have proper weight according to Klout).

In a nutshell, I think the gamification of influence is !@#$ing stupid and counter-intuitive.  Klout plays to this concept and IMO, that's their fatal flaw.  If they want to be seen as true measurement gurus, they need to quit asking users to game their system (without really saying it).