Should I Delete My Klout Account? Both Sides of the Argument

Posted by Steve Weir
Steve Weir
Steve Weir has been in product management and marketing for over 15 years and brings a wide range of experienc...
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on Tuesday, 15 November 2011 in Social Media

Comparz vistors are continually looking for advice and ideas about products that could help manage their social marketing and trying to stay on top of the latest news.  Last week we published a brief post about the problem with Klout.  The online discussion of Klout has heated up this week, and now there is a movement asking users to delete their Klout accounts.

 

The “Delete Klout” movement stems in part from a recent article that portrayed the company in a negative fashion and in part from some of the negative publicity from a recent change in the Klout product.  In an article in Social Media Today, Rohn Jay Miller argues that Klout provides very little benefit to the users that they measure, and that Klout the company gets a very large benefit by being able to sell access to Klout scores of their users.  Miller says:

The fundamental evil of Klout is that it’s a venture capital-backed company looking to leverage into a big IPO payday and the only value proposition they offer is their ability to identify, train and exploit people they can sell to advertisers as “key influencers,” in a taxonomy of business interests.

What do these “key influencers” get for their efforts?  Pennies.  Swag. Chocolate bars. Little discounts.  These people are the entire sum of the Klout value proposition.  Klout exists for the benefit of advertisers, not for the people Klout measures and then chooses to engage.

Miller is not the only one to complain about Klout.  As we mentioned last week, Pam Moore critiqued Klout, by pointing out that Klout is just one single metric that can’t really track real influence and credibility – it can only estimate your influence by tracking online activity.  This doesn’t count any panel visits you may have been on, the startups you have advised, or the quality of your advice.

Unfortunately, this is not the only front where Klout is fighting a PR battle (in fact, they are getting PR about their bad PR).  There is outrage about their recent algorithm change, and concerns about privacy.

Ultimately, the stated reasons for the Klout hate are:

  • The Klout business model is unfair
  • The recent algorithm change was unfair
  • What Klout measures isn’t really influence
  • Klout is invading privacy by tracking Klout of users who never opted in (which Klout changed on Friday)

In Defense of Klout


The anti-Klout movement already has traversed the social world, and I don’t think the Klout defenders have yet to have their voices heard.  Klout responded to the privacy concerns with a policy change on Friday.  The greatest defense of Klout right now is that it is so heavily used, that so many people have adopted the product and have worked hard to get their Klout scores so high. 

Influencers are important, and a service that can help marketers home in on the key influencers of their market has a real value. The tools to manage social media will continue to proliferate.  We will keep you up to date on the changes and continue to provide you with user reviews.

 

Comparz provides user reviews and rankings of software services and tools for small and mid-sized businesses. Click here to view Comparz' business software reviews and rankings.

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Steve Weir has been in product management and marketing for over 15 years and brings a wide range of experience including telecom, brand management, and Internet marketing. Prior to joining the Comparz team, Steve was an early member of HighBeam.com, a cloud based research site that helps small and medium sized business users find valuable information from tools and publications normally found in large company libraries. At HighBeam, Steve was the Senior Director of Product and Marketing, where he worked to bring forth user friendly features and keep the company at the forefront of technology.



Steve has an undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado and a master's degree in Marketing from The Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

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