We all show up on certain social media platforms. We follow celebrities on Twitter. We talk to friends and play social games on Facebook. We share funny pictures on Pinterest. We give our reviews of restaurants on Yelp. People interact with each other on the Internet, and thus to some extent have impact on each other. Do you know how influential you are on your social networks?
Klout, a San Francisco based company, states that it provides social media analysis to measure a user’s influence across his social network. It was launched in September 2009 and currently claims having more than 100 million profiles. Klout assigns each user a Klout score, ranking from 1 to 100, that tells a person’s influence on the social networks. The data Klout uses come from sites such as Twitter and Facebook, and all of a user’s social networks are accessed and therefore evaluated by Klout when he or she register. By researching the size of a person’s network, the content created, how others interact with the content and etc, Klout hopes to be the official scoring system of the social Web. Besides, the SF start-up also provide Klout Perks, the exclusive products or experiences that its users earn based on their influence.
Time named Klout one of the Best 50 Websites in 2011, honoring it not only make the web useful but also entertaining. Additionally, Yahoo threw out the hot topic asking whether Klout Scores are Becoming the New Fashion Barometer. It is obvious that now an increasing number of fashion-related business turn to social media for marketing and better distributing. Klout does play a certain role in the business world as early this year Gilt, the popular flash-sale website announced its partnership with Klout to start a social campaign and special sales.
However, criticism against Klout’s methodology and representative seems to come from everywhere.
- CNNMoney said Klout score could be possibly evil since people don’t know exactly how Klout process users’ information.
- New York Times cited the privacy issue when Klout Automatically Created Profiles, including Minors.
- The Telegraph thought that things like Klout and PeerIndex should not be taken seriously because You Can’t Measure Influence On Twitter.
- A blogger on SocialMediaToday even gave a list of the reason why she deleted her Klout profile.
Based on the above information, what do you think about this social network analyst Klout? Will you treat it seriously or just like a game? Do you see further business opportunities for Klout?