The mysterious algorithm behind Klout troubles users

7 Nov

Klout is a site that measures your social media “influence,” “reach” and “amplification.” It gathers information on your use of 12 social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Google+.  From that information, it gives you a score from 1 to 100 stating your influence on certain topics in the realm of social media.

Sounds like a good way to evaluate your company’s online presence, right?

The catch is, no one knows what algorithm is used to create the score. This is to prevent similar websites and social platforms from copying the tool.

Under pressure

In October, the site decided to revamp and improve its process to encompass more social media sites to better track a user’s online presence. As a result most users noticed a substantial drop in their Klout score.

The change upset some users, many of who quickly took to Twitter to vent their frustrations. Some went so far as to delete their Klout account. Users debated the “point” of Klout, how the score was decided and if it could negatively sway a potential employer’s opinion of you.

Without the algorithm, it seems as though users can’t decide if their Klout score accurately describes their online presence. Or perhaps Tammy Kahn Fennell said it best when she wrote, “#Kloutapocalypse: You’re Not That Influential, Deal With It.”

Change is good

In response to all the negative feedback, Klout founder and CEO, Joe Fernandez tweeted: “Not exactly fun having the internet want to punch me in the face but I believe the product is in a much better place…”

With the addition of so many social media websites in the past few years, Klout is simply trying to include as many social media platforms as possible. It now tracks your company’s online presence through blogs, Foursquare and even YouTube posts.

While your score might have decreased due to the “improved” algorithm, the daily changes in the score will remind you to keep your company’s social media up to date.

As with all social media platforms, we must remember that social media is constantly changing to IMPROVE how we interact and connect with each other. In time, “this too shall pass.”


Shawna Polivka
Burgie MediaFusion

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