Has Klout Lost its Clout?

Is it just me or is there less buzz these days about Klout?

From being the belle of the ball for both good and bad reasons, Klout seems to have settled into the background over the past month or so.

Maybe it’s because Klout, which rates a person’s digital influence, has become less of a novelty. In a world in which a service stays new and shiny for only so long, it could be that social media enthusiasts have already moved on to Pinterest, et al.

It could be that Klout has simply blended into the social media background. Rather than being the centre of attention, Klout has become established. Or has it?

Based on traffic (unique U.S. visitors), Klout has seen flat growth over the past two months. Has Klout lost its clout? Has our obsession with influence waned? Are rivals such as PeerIndex, Kred, Appinions and Empire Avenue taking the bite out of Klout?

It could be a variety of factors but the reality is it’s still early days for measuring digital influence. The ability to accurately measure influence is still work in progress. As much as everyone loves the idea of identifying influencers, no technology has nailed it yet.

For all the attention and kudos that Klout attracted, it also attracted a lot of scrutiny from people who had issues with Klout’s approach, particularly after it decided to change how it calculated influence scores.

This is one of the “problems” in being an industry pioneer. Often, you set the table and educate the marketplace, only to see rivals steal your thunder with a better or different solution.

Klout may be suffering from an influence hangover. The buzz has faded, although it doesn’t necessarily mean Klout’s prospects have evaporated. Instead, it might suggest the influence market is in flux as brands and people grapple to get a better sense of how to measure influence.

7 Comments on “Has Klout Lost its Clout?”

  1. While I do commend them for being a pioneer, there’s just too many flaws with it’s current algorithm and positioning quite frankly. For example–I have a huge issue with calling it influence measurement since that’s not really what it’s measuring. If I don’t post to twitter for a couple days my score goes down but I don’t think the people who trust me and look to me for an opinion are any less influenced by me… It’s more a combination of popularity and online activity.

    Also what is painfully lacking is a layer of some sort of sentiment analysis. Controversy is always popular on line but if you’re popular because of controversy it wise for a brand to try and align itself with you? Probably not but the brands throwing money at Klout probably don’t realize this (yet). I don’t think the technology is quite there yet anyway but I do think there are ways around that (with $30Mil in the bank, Klout could likely implement some human analysis on the back end, for example)

    1. Kelly: Thanks for the insight and perspective. Like you, I have questions about Klout’s current value. cheers, Mark

  2. Kelly makes some great points here. I second them. I do believe there is a market for influence, thus people seek the best method of measurement. Klout and it’s cohort have a responsibility to iterate to weed outliers and those who would game the system. If they didn’t, they would be irrelevant in a NY minute.

  3. Stephen: I think it’s fair to say it’s still early days for the influencer discovery marketplace. Klout has captured the spotlight as a “pioneer” but there are lots of other players working on creating a better mousetrap. Thanks for the comment – Mark

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