Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Klout changes ... scores drop and complaints rise

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?


  1. Greta article as usual Prof. J!

    I think it's a good idea for it to keep improving but at the same time, it still has flaws. For example, it says I'm influential about topics I have never talked about. Also, my score went down but is higher than I think it should be. Plus, you never can track influence done through word of mouth with a machine.

    It's a good starting point but a lot still has to be done.

  2. I can understand peoples' desire to learn how the Klout algorithm calculates the score. However, that will (not may, will) lead to many people intentionally manipulating the score through targeted activity instead of engaging in social media the best way they know how. Face it, folks,. Everyone is judged by the same algorithm, and no one knows how it works, so it's an even playing field. And this is coming from someone whose score dropped by a whopping 20%, so I'm not showing Klout the love because I somehow benefitted from the change.

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  4. According to Klout's current metrics, my score has declined daily since the day I signed up, where previously it had gone up a little bit daily as I put a lot of work into expanding my social engagement. Klout's dashboard message to me was literally "what you're doing is working, keep it up!" and now it appears that what I was doing was dead wrong this entire time?

    In short, Klout is now telling me the exact opposite of what it used to, which reduces my faith in the usefulness of their metric to near zero. My days of checking in daily to see my Klout score are over for awhile, possibly for good.

  5. Klout is still a type of nail in New Zealand Mike!

  6. Today it tells me that my overall reach has declined significantly (as in a straight line plunging down) but my score has gone up considerably, now a 50 which I didn't think I'd ever be able to do (and wasn't really worried about it either) since I cover mostly local content.

    The funniest thing though is that, according to Klout, I am no longer influencing about 25 people as of this week, including my own intern. I guess I need to keep a closer eye on what he's up to. ;)

    Seriously, I'm not really sure there's any point to all of this. It's something I check whenever there's an interesting story about Klout, which is not that often.

  7. Here is my two cents, for what it's worth. I use Klout as a tool to remind me when I need to be ramping up my social media engagement and providing content worth sharing. I don't put a lot of stock in what number I am (I dropped from a 63 to 55 overnight).

    I think that most of us dropped, but if it's in the interest of more accurate scoring, then I'm all for it. It's not like I don't have a chance to raise my numbers again. It's just time to keep working, what time it is every day. :)

    Keep your chin up folks! The truck-load of lemons just arrived. Who wants some lemonade?

    Game on!


  8. Thanks for the great comments here folks. More to come on this subject I'mm sure! :-)

  9. Three weeks ago my Klout score dropped significantly when my family responsibilities overwhelmed me with the passing of my mother-in-law.

    So for the past week I hyped my social media presence following the guidelines of the virtuous Michael Todd. My score was bouncing back up three points then Klout's new metric sent me tumbling 15 points.

    Come to find out, the new algorithms may be a better influence indicator.

    My amplification score is quite low due to the fact I post almost anything under the sun regarding alternative energy. Will I stop making so many posts and edit them so they’re easier to RT? Probably!

    When given lemons; make gold!

    And, so; my score went up a point!

    Social media scores are not more important to me than changing the status quo use of fossil energy and protecting our Planet.

    So continuing to rally the troops I must. Carpe diem!


    Ben Lubbon

  10. Well, the problem is that Klout actually delivers a score. There are invisible changes all the time on Google that keep SEO and SEM experts scratching their heads and they don't know if its a change in the algorithm, competition, or what.

    By delivering a score Klout gives average Joes like me something objective to squawk about. People need to realize that scores are relative, not absolute, so if my colleagues and I all drop 15 points at the same time we shouldn't be upset.

    I do wonder about a diminishment of influence for Twitter vs. Facebook. I work with B2B businesses and we don't use Facebook as much, relatively speaking, as someone doing B2C or personal networking. They might see a jump up in their rankings because of Facebook.

    Is that likely to be the case with the new algorithms?

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