Klout begins roll out of new rating methods and it is being welcomed by many.
Today, Klout has started to roll out some of the new changes to their site along with new methods for calculating your influence. And that is exactly what Klout is all about. The changes are being done to better determine what your “real world influence” actually is and they are doing this by expanding the things they are looking at. That will initially result in some changes to your existing Klout score with many people seeing an increase in their number. And with anything like this, there will be those who see a decrease in their number. Those things just happen.
They have made changes which they are talking about on the Klout Blog with the most important changes of all being increased accuracy. With that change, they are providing more details about what they are collecting without really letting you know how they do any calculations to arrive at scores. Of note, Facebook is the first item in the blog describing the changes. If you have looked at your Klout score in the past, Twitter has been the first item being displayed on your score. More on that a little later.
Many prominent sources are giving positive reviews of the changes. Forbes is calling this a change we can believe in. This from Anthony Wing Kosner who has been critical of Klout’s scoring system. In making the changes, they have expanded the number of variables they are looking at from 100 to 400. And with that, they are placing more emphasis on Facebook and LinkedIn items which were not part of the calculations. As an example, your LinkedIn job title will enter into the number they are assigning. That is to encourage you to link your LinkedIn account to Klout.
All of these changes should make everyone feel like they are looking at their social influence and not put you on the defensive. And with these changes, it is hoped that Klout can move further into the mainstream which they have been struggling to do. And part of that is the emphasis on Facebook and LinkedIn.
If you have looked at the site over the past few months, you will have noticed that they are pushing people to connect to Facebook and to “Invite” all your Facebook friends. They are adding to that by offering VIP access if you sign up 10 Facebook friends. In some respects it seems to show that they are trying to grow Facebook connections in advance of the complete roll out of the changes. With the emphasis on Facebook, it does appear to make sense, but at the same time appears to be putting a lot focus on that connection.
Given the huge growth of Facebook, it offers huge potential to Klout to add people to their rolls. Once they have your connection to Facebook, there is nothing to stop them from adding to your wall as so many others currently do. Some people are reporting multiple Klout requests on their Facebook page, but when they go to Klout they are not seeing anything. These are really requests from people for you to join Klout. Not exactly what you want to see in Facebook.
With any change comes controversy and it is starting because of the focus on Facebook. There are growing concerns about the information Klout is pulling from Facebook and putting into Klout. People who do not have a Klout account have found that some of their information from Facebook is showing up in Klout. This is starting to sound like earlier days with Facebook where there were privacy issues being reported. If Klout is not careful, they may get caught up in that as well.
With the changes, you can expect Klout to continue to encourage you to connect to all your accounts so that Klout can harvest information to determine Klout score. Just be aware that you will be exposing information you may not want out there.