Klout, the social influencer platform, was founded by Joe Fernandez way back in 2008. In 2014, he sold Klout to a company called Lithium Technologies for $200 million.
According to a statement issued by Pete Hess, CEO of Lithium, they have made their decision to sunset the Klout service on May 25.
I have never been a huge fan of Klout, and I must admit, I had forgotten that it existed, but I loved their idea very much. I enjoyed my Klout score in the early days.
Why did I put everything behind me and decide to write about Klout at its dying second?
Because at the time they started this fantastic platform and invented the social media influence quantification method in 2008, everybody wrote about it, such as how stupid this score is, how it quantifies human interactions, and some privacy protection issues of the platform. This storm was hitting harder on them at that time.
So, why not now when it is dying?
They started with a few social media platforms but then improved the scoring system and even integrated with “Bing“ search results.
Once you’ve linked your social media accounts, it analyzes your internet presence using posts you share, videos you create, articles you write, friends you’ve connected, and many other parameters and gives you a score.
My score is 62 out of 100.
Klout was really big
In many people’s eyes, that platform did not provide an accurate mechanism to calculate the influential score. It did not analyze your internet presence accurately. It couldn’t measure every type of influence. Its scores didn’t reflect the actual expertise of people.
Yes, of course, all these are sensible arguments.
But critics didn’t see that they had started something big. They are the first members of the evolution of “influencer marketing.” They are the pioneers of measuring social media interaction and upgraded it to influencer marketing.
Even if you and I didn’t care about the score, some big brands, such as Coca-Cola and Audi, took advantage of the Klout algorithm.
I’ve received a few job applications with Klout scores for my Upwork job posts. They have used it as a measurement of their online presence and influence.
It was an important score for them as freelancers work on social media. So, now they’ll have to find another method, and I hope many alternatives will emerge soon with the death of Klout.
It seems like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), effective May 25, 2018, is partially responsible for Klout’s sunsetting.
TechCrunch reports a Lithium spokesman said: “The upcoming deadline for GDPR implementation simply expedited our plans to sunset Klout.”
According to Pete Hess, though Klout is shut down, they will use its valuable artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning capabilities on Lithium services.
And furthermore, he says, “we are also planning the launch of a new social impact scoring methodology based on Twitter.”
We’ll see what happens next.