Klout recently announced that it raised a new round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins as the company prepares to make a big splash in 2012. According to the post by Klout CEO, Joe Fernandez, the company has already made significant investments in both engineering and infrastructure and plans to use this new funding to “continue to provide the most accurate and transparent measurement of influence.” He then goes on to say, that another goal is to make it clear why it pays to have Klout.
While it’s great that Klout wants to provide an “accurate and transparent” measurement of influence, let’s be real — it will never be completely transparent. It can’t be. If it was, competitors would jump at the opportunity to copy it. Klout will not be disclosing how its algorithms work the same way Google doesn’t. And really, that’s fine but the whole “we are for transparency” bit, at least with regard to how scores are calculated, is simply not true. So save that act and start working on ways to convince me (and everyone else) that Klout really matters.
Last night, I sent out a tweet, which stated that I would give Klout six months to show me why my Klout score matters. The clock starts now.
To be fair, to date, I have been intrigued by Klout — I think measuring social influence is an interesting idea. My personal Klout score is currently around 50 which is a great ego boost. However, aside from it being an ego boost, I have no real reason to care about my Klout score at all. Sure, they offer perks, but they aren’t that great, at least great enough that I have ever had the urge to take advantage of one.
One investor wrote that Klout will be the “global standard” for identifying and measuring social influence. Another compared Klout to the likes of Nielsen and comScore but for social media. That sounds great and all but you will notice one thing about both Nielsen and comScore — they aren’t consumer oriented businesses. In fact, they are much more business to business oriented. They sell metrics and data. In fact, most measurement and metric companies are geared more towards businesses than consumers. So where does that leave Klout?
I do not know what Klout has planned, but I am anxiously waiting. I do, however, currently have the feeling that Klout will not matter to me that much six months from now. I hope I’m wrong.