Today Klout released what may be its biggest update since the site launched back in 2009. Yes, even bigger than “Kloutpocalypse” or whatever you want to call it. Last week @abelmind and I spoke with company founder Joe Fernandez to get the scoop. Here’s what we found out – There are three major updates, aiming to address user feedback in regards to the accuracy of the algorithm, transparency, and those unpredictable and often comical topics.
First, there has been a significant update to the algorithm, so significant in fact that Justin Bieber has been dethroned as the reigning top Klout getter to President Barack Obama, and not just by a point or two. The US President now weighs in with a hefty 99 Klout score while America’s favorite teenage heartthrob has dropped to 91. More importantly, Seattle’s #1 heartthrob, yours truly, jumped from 60 to 67! So, Joe, what’s the deal? “We have gone from 100 signals we measure to over 400, and added a new source, Wikipedia…+k has also been added to the overall score” said Fernandez. This update was partially in response to many detractors claiming the algorithm failed to accurately measure influence due to social
networks like Facebook and Twitter’s inability to measure offline influence. Of course Wikipedia is online, but it does help round out the score by counting inbound links, and how often it’s updated and other inputs from the site’s API. Adding +K to the score is another attempt to measure offline influence, but for now I have to disagree with this move. I think many of the other updates Klout has made to the site and algorithm help limit the “gaming” of Klout, and I see this as a step in the wrong direction. Maybe it’s just me? Let me know in the comments.
After doing a little (emphasis on a little) snooping around on the new site, I haven’t come across any friends or colleagues with scores that have dropped, quite the contrary actually. They’ve all gone up and by more than just a few points. My sneaking suspicion is that Klout is trying to raise the average scores of average people (like you and me) to make
them feel better about themselves, resulting in more time spent with the site, and a more favorable sentiment towards it. It will be interesting to see what the fallout is (or isn’t) with this update. I doubt Bieber will care, but I’m sure if the scores of any “social media gurus/experts/mavens” out there go down we won’t hear the end of it. Let us know in the comments how your score has been affected.
Next, in an attempt to address the transparency issue, Klout has made a very visual update to the site that now shows users in a Facebook timelinesque layout their “social interactions over the past 90 days”. This allows people to see each action they have taken on social media that has resulted in other people taking an action. Got it? No? Let’s say you post a picture of your three year old and nobody comments, likes, or shares the pic. Is it because your baby is ugly? I can’t be sure without seeing the picture, but I can say with certainty that it’s not going to raise your Klout score. But when you tweet a pic of your meaty pasta bolognaise and you get 50 retweets and 10 replies, Klout will show this to you in chronological order with your other influential social actions. I see this update making people come back to Klout more often, and for different purposes based on personal preference. The most obvious and pure purpose is to see what content is creating the most action. I’ve gotta head to work in a minute, so I’ll take the easy road out of this paragraph and end with a quote from Joe, “What’s special are the things you say, the conversations you create, we wanted to highlight that.” Well put, eh?
(see image to the right) that got me excited (really!). I asked Joe, “Hey Joe (in Jimi Hendrix voice), over there on the right, are you now allowing people to approve their topics before they go live?” “We want to give people more control over their influence…we’re giving you control to add them [topics] yourself” he told us. While this is the most simple update of the bunch, Klout’s move to hand over control of what topics are associated with a user’s profile TO THE USER will be very welcomed I’m sure, accept of course by those dreaded Klout Bombers.
In closing, as a marketer I don’t see anything but upside with this release. They should fend off many of the haters with the topics control. The algorithm in my opinion will always be argued, so the only thing Klout can do there is continue to do what they’re doing. That is tweak it like crazy and continue their hiring spree of crazy smart scientists (have you ever looked at their job board?). Assuming the updates don’t tank in the eye of the tech / developer communities we should see more use of the API, which excites me a ton. The
social interactions feed should get people to the site more often, which is good for Klout Perks, and should also help strengthen Klout’s brand and give it more acceptance beyond social geeks and the Bay area. Speaking of Klout Perks, I’m interested to see if Klout targets this program as well with their Brand Pages in the next major public release.
So, what do you think of all this? Will you boycott Klout again or spend more time on the site checking out your social interactions feed?
months traveling across America to put on events that encourage people to bring to life their ideas.”
The other 4 speakers were Rand Fishkin, CEO of SEO software company; SEOmoz, Molly Moon, founder of Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream, Marc Nager (pronounced Naw-ger), CEO and co-director of Startup Weekend,and Kushal Chakrabarti, founder of microlending organization Vittana.
If you’re bored enough to listen to me for 17 minutes, check out the video courtesy of filmmaker Kelley Mattingly:
is high. So for a big chain with a sampling budget, as I’m sure they all do, then a Klout Perk is a great sampling program to test, as Chili’s is currently doing in an effort to push their new Chicken Fajita
With over 1,400 stores in North America Chili’s is able to open this promo up to a pretty wide audience. And as I mentioned earlier all people eat. The combination of those two facts allows Chili’s to put a pretty high score limit on this perk. Most perks I see fall at around the 30-40+ range (20 is average, 50 is the top 5%). For this Perk Chili’s is starting at 60 and offering influencers
a $10 gift card to spend on whatever they want, however the new lunches they are promoting start at just $6 so the gift card is enough to get you out with a lunch, a Shirly Temple (it’s lunch), and maybe only have to shell out a few extra bucks for tip. Not a bad perk if you ask me.
“…Facebook’s generation-spanning popularity is partly to blame. In a world where it’s considered rude to turn down a friend request, especially from a family member, teens were suddenly seeing their aunts, uncles and parents in their News Feeds…”
I love my mom, but continually getting friend requests, likes, and comments from her 50 year old friends and family has me skipping the nightly Facebook logins. Do I want this interaction with everyone I know? No. Sure, there
are settings in my news feed to prevent the bombardment, BUT is this an online culture that teens/kids are just over and moving away from?
The type of interaction Twitter brings to the table is much different than Facebook. according to the teens AdAge has met and ones we have too, “Facebook is more about sharing content, whether it’s videos, photos, music, or articles. Twitter is far more conversation based… a place where teens can tell their friends what they’re doing or how they feel.” This instant gratification platform is more important to the “new innovators” of the tech industry. I don’t think Adage is saying Facebook is an afterthought, but it may beginning to dwindle as a daily login for influencers.
What does this mean for Klout?
As Klout keep tabs on and measures the way younger audiences are using social media , more and more emphasis will need to be put on Twitter. Specifically how people are beginning to prefer “conversations with interesting strangers” to Facebook’s “updates from the usual suspects.” Very interesting thought on our society and youth. Another measurement for Klout
will need to be Twitter “subjects”. A sophisticated Twitter user can follow many subjects, monitoring a variety of conversations. All while using a Twitter client like HootSuite, and keep their influence hidden from the masses. To me, Twitter “subjects” is a greater differentiator to Facebook, than just immediacy.
Only time will tell if Facebook and Twitter will walk hand in hand in social matrimony. However this Adage article is spot on in its interpretation of teens and tech. All I know is my kid will probably be using an alias on twitter that only her friends know so that me and grandma can’t find her through a Google search. The 2015 Klout: You have influence, but who are you? @MyAnonymousDaughter
concerts from Live Nation? Not too shabby. Not everybody gets 250 clams though. Like the Klout Perk mentioned in yesterday’s post from Rent the Runway, they are offering different levels of reward based on Klout. The Trident perk takes a different angle however, rewarding influencers not by all up Klout score but the ranking on their brand page. Here’s the breakdown: The top 10 influencers get $250. The top 100 get $100. The top 1,000 get $35.
I LOVE the idea of brand pages because it allows a company to identify and converse with a core group of people who care about their brand on a continuing basis. I DON’T like the fact the top influencers are based on the number of +K an individual has in that topic. I’d prefer Klout’s algorithm to make the call on who is influential rather than “real” people clicking buttons. Take for example the #1 influencer on Trident’s brand page, PR Girl Atlanta. She’s real hot, but I’m not sure if she’s real. Or a girl. Or cares about gum. “She” does however tweet a ton and have a boatload of followers but as you can see from her Klout profile her main goal on Klout is to get +Ks in Trident (yes, I gave her one…). Maybe that does make her a true brand advocate? The jury will remain out on that one for now. Ohhh, the mystery.
In my opinion Klout should give brands the option to sort influencers on their brand page by science (their algorithm), not gaming (+K). While this may limit the number of active Klout users on the list it wouldn’t be at the expense of quality.
What do you think? (I realize the comment function is currently broke on the site so asking that question here is pointless. But you can hit me up on Twitter @gknutson)
Late last week the one and only @abelmind had another one of his big ideas, and per the usual he just went ahead and executed it. Soon after with casual excitement he announced, “I just created a Twitter account called it’s anybody. I put the password in the profile so anyone can log in and post from it.”
With just a few tweets the account was up and running. The first few posts came from us, but quickly unidentified tweets came, and they continued faster and faster. In the first hour we figured there were close to 50 tweets from random strangers. Within 3 hours the account password was changed by a random stranger and our little afternoon experiment was dead. After tracking down the assailant and about a day of back and forth, pleading, begging and promises the password was back in the hands of
young @abelmind. As of yesterday we’re pleased to announce the account is back up and the experiment continues. As of today the account has 76 followers and has tweeted 136 times. In other news, Blake, AKA @abelmind has become an expert on Twitter password settings.
New to my inbox this morning was a Klout Perk for Rent the Runway, a company that offers rentals of high fashion items. Like that dress the Joan Rivers slammed at the Emmy’s? Well now you don’t have to shell out thousands to wear it once only to let it collect dust
in your closet after your cousins wedding. Thanks to a partnership with Klout, Rent the Runway is offering influencers between $15 and $100 off depending on Klout Score.
The scale is as follows:
Klout scores 1 to 20: $15 off
Klout scores 21 to 40: $25 off
Klout scores 41 to 60: $50 off
Klout scores 61 to 80: $75 off
Klout scores 81 to 99: $100 off
It’s nice that my notification was customized to my score (61) letting me know my exact discount of $75. As Klout grows and their platform becomes more dynamic I hope to see more customization like this…Oh, and they should probably start splitting these perks out by gender,
I have a confession to make. I just sorta signed up for an online dating service. And I’m married. But I did it for the sake of research, I swear. Truth be told my beautiful wife Arielle is sitting next to me now watching me write this post, so really, I’m not a bad guy.
While cruising the latest Klout Perks today I noticed one for a new online dating site, www.cheekd.com. Pretty interesting idea. Instead of people starting online with singles searching each other out virtually, cheek’d offers business cards (as shown above) that they hand out in the real world, driving perspective matches to their online profile page. I’m not here to provide commentary on dating, so I’ll leave my personal opinions
to myself, however I will comment on how the Klout Perk is set up. A couple things I find interesting.
First, a score of 50 is pretty high. With the cost of the cards being low (my assumption) I’m surprised they don’t lower the entry point down closer to 40ish. But maybe social media hound dogs are lonely people?
Second, all of the topics seem appropriate with the exception of “social media”, however I agree with singling out that topic. Why? Well, people like me who are very active on social media are good people to reach out to with any new product or service. We’re social loudmouths, ready to promote, slander and share whatever comes across our virtual desks.
So while I’ll be recycling the cards when they come in the