As you may have heard, there has been a new way to measure your online social influence since Klout went public in September 2009. If you thought you were hot stuff, a social media god perhaps, then you might have a shocking realization when you find out what the Klout Score has to say about your online stature.
So, you may ask, what is a Klout Score? The Klout Score is a way to measure your influence and ability to drive action. Every time you post, tweet, or join a LinkedIn group, a Klout Score is calculated based on your true reach (how many people you influence), your amplification (how much you influence them), and your network impact (the influence of your network). Put them all together and you have a score between 1 and 100 (100 being the most influential), with the average person landing a score somewhere around 20.
But it doesn’t stop there. If you think having another way to brag about your social status isn’t cool enough, Klout offers you incentives to increase your score in the form of Klout Perks. Klout Perks are free incentives offered by a variety of companies just for having a high score. Companies that have participated include, but are not limited to, Neutrogena, Level Up, Moo, Sony, Disney, Capital One, Chili’s, and Popchips. Chevy actually even offered Klout Score-holders with a score of 35 and above the opportunity to test drive the new Chevy Sonic for 3 full days, a perk I myself would have thoroughly enjoyed.
After hearing all this you may think, “What isn’t to like about the Klout Score? It’s a win-win for all,” and Klout would agree with you. In fact, the company even goes so far as to say that they can match you up with your next romantic interest using the Klout Score alone. Yes, you read that correctly: according to Klout, your Klout Score is “an authentic measurement of sophistication, wit, cultural savvy and appeal” that is a “more trustworthy measurement than the typical online dating site bull-hockey-factors of height, weight and income.”
And while I am by no means a professional matchmaker, I would say that Klout has blogged itself into some pretty big claims with that one.
The bottom line, though, is that before you sign up to find out your latest social status or newest lover, know that some consider Klout scores to be an unnecessary evil that should be rendered irrelevant due to the fact that its authority is questionable, it potentially violates privacy rights, and it uses you to make a profit.
After reading the criticism that has come crashing down on CEO Joe Fernandez, one is left trying to choose whether to give in to the temptation of reconfirming one’s appeal and influential impact, or to reject the potentially harmful score that could taint the social media world altogether.
Which do you choose? Comment below!