I checked my Klout score today, for the first time in at least a year. I’m hanging steady, it seems, on a ranking of 54. I was informed that this healthy score places in the top 20% of users on social media, precipitating a moderate ego boost. And that’s the sole point of Klout, right? To make ourselves feel important?
The shallowness of Klout scores, and the vanity that they appeal to, have been subject to a significant backlash since the company launched in 2009, including an infamous skewering from writer John Scalzi: “Who made Klout the arbiter of online influence, aside from Klout itself?” He wrote in a guest column for CNN Money back in 2011. “I could rank your influence online. If you like: I’ll add your number of Twitter followers to your number of Facebook friends, subtract the number of MySpace friends, laugh and point if you’re still on Friendster, take the square root, round up to the nearest integer and add six. That’s your Scalzi number (mine is 172). You’re welcome.”
All of this is to say that we were obsessed with boosting our Klout score for a while, and then almost overnight we completely forgot about it. Now, the average user remembers to check their score even less frequently than they do their tyre pressure.
But Klout is primed to bounce back. It is due to be bought by social media company Lithium for a reported $100 million, and is currently piloting new content aggregation functionality. Klout has been offering “perks” for a while now; that is, allowing brands to offer discounts, special offers and even freebies to users with certain scores. Next up is heightened sharing power. Klout now enables users to share content across platforms, subsequently helping their chances of increasing their influence score.
“We always knew the Klout score was the foundation,” CEO Joe Fernandez recently told Mashable. “We think of this as extending our proposition.”