Saturday, July 23, 2011

2011: The Year of Klout

Got Klout? In social media 2011 is turning out to be the Year of Klout.

The service that began in September, 2009 has rocketed to the front of the pack of tools that attempt to measure overall influence across social platforms.

So what is Klout? It takes social network data and measures the likelihood that each user’s connections will act upon anything that user shares on their networks and then calculates the influence of those connections and their ability to cause actions. In other words it tracks online influence and gives each user a ranking on a scale of 1 to 100.

Initially Klout measured its users’ Twitter and Facebook influence, but 2011 has seen some big changes:

Early 2011: Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome offer add-ons: This allows users of these two browsers to instantly see the Klout score of all the people in their Twitter stream.

May, 2011: Launched a new section on the Klout website highlighting Klout Perks. According to the company’s blog: "Klout Perks are exclusive offers or experiences, given as a result of your Klout. Perks allow brands to connect with influencers in their area of expertise."

Jun 1: Introduced +K: This is a way, as Klout explains on its blog, to augment the data captured by Klout. The tool lets Klout users vouch for their peers’ influence in topics Klout has associated with each user.

June 14: Added Linkedin data to the influence score because with 100 million users of the professional network Klout said it believed adding Linkedin would make for a more accurate overall score.

July 12: Announced its data is in high demand: Klout says that it served more than two billion API calls in the month of June – or four times the demand of three months prior. This means large numbers of services are now seeing value in pulling Klout data.

July 14: Announces that Foursquare is now integrated into Klout scoring. According to a Mashable interview with Klout CEO Joe Fernandez adding Foursquare "is the start of an aggressive process from Klout to add more data sources and granularity to the Klout scores."

And possibly in the near future?

Google+ integration: According to a July 20 post on Klout’s official blog the company has "already started work on ways to assess your influence on Google+"

More on Klout:
• For an example of how Klout stirs passionate debate over the whole topic of measuring social media influence check out Mark Schaefer’s The making of a social media slut blog post (especially the comments area).

• For insight into where Klout has come from and where it is headed read the Forbes interview of Klout CEO Fernandez by Tracy John: Klout CEO On Raising Your Score, Google Plus Integration And Justin Bieber’s Perfect 100

So if you haven’t yet had your fill of Klout keep watching this space because in social media 2011 is most assuredly the Year of Klout.


  1. Thanks for the post

    I Have 65 Klout score (Influencer about Algeria and DoctorWho ) but i don"t realy understand how can this be "Usefull" , i dont feel more present on my networks than my friends/connctions with 1-20 K Scores !

  2. Rick Fletcher @TRFletcherJuly 24, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Of course you don't. It's marketing. It's just taking us back to the days of Jr. High. If someone offered me a financial incentive, I would show you how to get your Klout score over 60 within a month. I didn't know how to play in Jr. High. I'm better at it now.

  3. Thanks for the comments. Yes, to some extent Klout could be seen as the equivalent to a popularity contest in junior high, but at least in junior high your popularity did not affect whether you were hired for a job or whether a client would want to work with you. Klout is already being used in such ways -whether we like it or not. That is why, in my humble opinion, we all need to pay attention to Klout or be prepared to be left behind by those who do. Thanks again for the comments.

  4. I am sorry, but I have to agree with the sentiment of Rick Fletcher's comment.

    In the eyes of prospective employers and clients alike, I think it's safe to say instances where a Klout score trumps actual credentials, accomplishments and education would be the exception to the rule.

    More power, or should I say, Klout, to them for the success with their service. However, I'm much more apt to be concerned with judgments for my own action, rather than with being the recipient of judgements based on the actions of others.

    @Mike Johansson, I do not mean to rain on your parade, you have written a wonderful post on Klout, I am impressed with their success. I may regret failing to heed Klout a priority. I believe Klout could potentially become more influential.

    I have never logged into Klout myself, but I must admit my vanity does inspire my curiosity as to my score. But I don't think Klout was intended for little 'nobodies' such as myself anyways.

    Lauren @nymphont

  5. Lauren: You raise good points and I think we would all agree that our real actions should weigh more than the actions we inspire in others. But, perhaps unfortunately, the real world of under-staffed human resource departments in many companies and the need to make quicker snap judgements on future employees is forcing them to use metrics that are easier to get. For example a Klout score. Now a Klout score won't be relevant in some fields, but in others it is likely to be highly relevant. But please don't take my word for it. Check out this recent blog post at Forbes for example from the real world:

  6. I cannot put in my postal code. Are those in Canada not accepted? If that is so how can I get off the Klout listing?

  7. Ruth - you might direct this question right to Klout at:

  8. Mike,
    Thank you for your reply, I think I am starting to get it now lol! After re-reading the post and comments, I can see how it would be useful in certain fields and with making 'snap' judgement as you describe. Very useful in fact. This makes Klout appear less like a 'popularity contest,' to me, and more like a tool/resource for reputability as you describe.

    Perhaps it was the connotation associated with the word 'Klout,' that put me off so much about the service initially.

    Thanks so much for your time and kindness in reply :)

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. My Klout score, my iPad and Flipboard helped me get a new post as Director of Brand Management.

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. More power, or should I say, Klout, to them for the success with their service. However, I'm much more apt to be concerned with judgments for my own action, rather than with being the recipient of judgements based on the actions of others.

  11. While all comments are welcome here - please do not use this space just to sell a service. Offering tips and advice is great though. Thanks

  12. Acquiring good playing golf instructors along with tennis motor coach buses is tough. The the vast majority are ex - college or secondary school players whom look realistically good smacking a soccer ball, but get little true teaching expertise.