Head in the Klout: My Score Went Up. How About Yours?

I woke up yesterday morning and told my significant other that I was considering a move to Silicon Valley. He shook his head and said that this week’s research for my blog had made me obsessed with excessive numbers completely detached from the real world.

Maybe you wonder why I claimed this move and why exactly on this day? Since Klout changed their algorithm this week, my Klout score went up and now I’ve reached 50. (For you who read my post You’re not Judged by Klout Score. Your Digital Presence is, know rumour says that score 50 is the magical number for even being considered for a job-interview in the valley).

Ok, we will not move. Back to reality for me. What we will have is a baby. (But since I’ve been pregnant for like forever, I’m so used to it that I tend to forget about it now and then, although I’m overdue already). But still, I can blog about Klout as much as I like. Truth is, even if it’s very abstract, Klout can’t be ignored. Especially not in certain fields where social media influence is very important. And this week’s change of algorithm can make it even more important in the real world too. (I say CAN, because I’m not exactly convinced yet).


It was on Tuesday that Klout changed their parameters. “We went from about 100 variables that we were looking at to over 400,” Joe Fernandez, founder and CEO of Klout told online magazine Mashable. “We’re looking at a bunch of new stuff.”

12 times more data points are now measured. 12 billion per day across seven social networks to be exact. And a completely new interface are rolling out during the coming weeks. Focus lies on your social network moments where your individual posts on Twitter or Facebook affects your score to a higher degree.

Klout also puts more weight on who your followers are and how you’re interacting with them. If a person with high Klout score likes your posts it’s better than if grandma does it (needless to say, if your grandma isn’t Oprah). It’s also better to receive likes from lots of different people rather than from just a few.

Klout has previously being criticized for not measuring the real world influence when calculating the score. For example your job title on LinkedIn will now matter: being CEO is better than being an ordinary employee. And if you are important enough to have your own Wikipedia page, it’ll also work wonders for your score.

Still Pinterest, which is one of the fastest growing social media platforms today, doesn’t count in your Klout score. Those who want to monitor their impact on Pinterest have to rely on PinReach.

Watch the video where Joe Fernandez, founder and CEO at Klout, explains how the new Klout interface works.


The Popularity Contest We Can’t Resist

How is it possible for Klout score to be so present in people’s minds and create such strong emotions? The majority tend to say they dislike the system, but the fact is that Klout has several millions of users. (Not 100 millions though, which is a number Klout themselves like to talk about. The figure 100 millions refers to the amount of social media profiles which Klout has been analyzing so far).

My best guess is that the (hidden) popularity of Klout lies on a psychological level. Isn’t the truth that many of us still seeking remedies for not being the cool kid in school? Seeing the “high school beauty queen of ’89” price tag cereals in the supermarket isn’t revenge enough for us. We need to prove ourselves even more. We need clear evidence that we are someone today and here’s where Klout comes in. The “high school beauty queen of ’89” probably hasn’t a clue about Klout, but that doesn’t matter. Having a high Klout score means we’re influential over more important things than she’s ever been. Maybe that’s why Klout’s smartphone-app exist although you practically can’t do anything from it. Except from one thing: flashing your score in the face of those who used to ignore you. And that’s probably good enough for most of us. At least for me.

This post was chosen to appear on the WP Freshly Pressed section as one of 10 out of about 1.100.000 new posts published every day on WordPress.com. Read more about it here.

About the author

Anna Rydne is an award winning and highly skilled communications specialist with +13 years of experience in the field of internal and external communication, PR and marketing. What distinguishes her from others in her field of expertise is that she treats communication as entertainment. It's simple to explain why: if it isn't funny or relevant enough, people switch channel. Anna has a special interest in personal branding and she believes the road to success is trying. Based in Stockholm, Sweden, she's determined to uncover the secrets of how successful people and companies communicate. She tweets about all things comms, social media and marketing @CoSkills and writes for SteamFeed.com once a month. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology. Contact her at communicateskills@gmail.com.

36 Responses to Head in the Klout: My Score Went Up. How About Yours?

  1. Word Ninja says:

    Personally, I would like to know what Harry Potter character you are… Thanks for another great article, Anna. I read it, then rec’d this from Social Media Examiner: Does Your Klout Score Determine Your Value?

    • Anna Rydne says:

      Well, I don’t think I ever have thought of myself as being a character in Harry Potter… Maybe I’d like to be the mother of Ron Weasley. Their cottage seems so cosy. Thanks for the link. The story of the squirrel with Klout 64 (actually 70 after the algorithm-change) is hilarious! It says a lot about our time.

  2. Floyda Foley says:

    I’ve heard Klout before but it doesn’t make since to me at all but now after reading your post and after watching the video, I am fascinated and go to Klout.com right away to create my own account. I really want to figure out how this can be a crucial part in social media management. Thanks for the insigthful post Anna!

  3. susielindau says:

    I noticed my score had gone up 12 points! Woohoo! I know I shouldn’t be obsessed by numbers, but geez I was pretty excited.

    I Facebooked it to a writer’s group and the question, why does Klout matter came up. I made some similar points as yours and then added the Perks were pretty great! I have won books, and lift tickets to Snowmass (Aspen) among other things. One gal said that your Klout score could even get you a discounted hotel rate! I haven’t looked into that yet, but I will!

    Congrats on attaining your 50 and being Freshly Pressed!

    • Anna Rydne says:

      I think that’s what Klout score do to people: make them obsessed! And that’s easy to be when you can monitor every single change of decimals on your score when logged in on your Klout profile. I guess it’ll be even worse when everyone can see their “moments” on the new interface which is coming soon.

      The perks are a nice side effect. Maybe they should be the main reason to why one should have an Klout account?

      Thanks for sharing your experience and for your very kind encouragement!

  4. aparnauteur says:

    I am relatively new to Klout (came across it on my about.me profile). Obviously, I am unaware of the nuances of what goes in to the score calculation. It is heartening nonetheless to have an actual number attached to your social networking worth. It gives you the same high you got when facebook was newly released and your clout was the number of friends you had!
    Congrats on your score of 50 (mine is half of yours) and also being freshly pressed!

    • Anna Rydne says:

      I don’t know if anyone actually know how Klout calculate the score. They claim themselves that they are looking at over 400 variables. I guess there’s no point in trying to figure it out or to try to conquer it. Just go with the flow: do what you want to do on social platforms, interact with those you want to interact with (not them with the highest Klout score) and have fun! The Klout score comes secondary, even though it’s pretty interesting to check it out once in a while!

      Thank you for responding and for your kind gratulations. Welcome back soon!

      PS. I read your latest post over at your blog. Great work! Keep on writing!

  5. […] Anna Rydne: Communicate (your) Skills >> Share this:FacebookTwitterMoreEmailPrintStumbleUponTumblrRedditPinterestDiggLinkedInLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  6. […] Anna Rydne: Communicate (your) Skills >> -6.211544 106.845172 Share this:FacebookTwitterMoreEmailPrintStumbleUponTumblrRedditPinterestDiggLinkedInLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

  7. Boozedude says:

    Confusingly, my score jumped 11 points from from 56 to 67 in on day… then I realised that they changed their calculation method.

    Several months ago, I believe that I saw an article claiming that Klout metrics are highly skewed to Facebook and Twitter.

    I’m guessing that either

    1. They’ve redistributed the scale so that there are a lot more people in the 50’s – 70’s (to make everyone feel better!)
    2. They’ve given a lot more weighting to non Facebook/Twitter sources (e.g. Instagram, WordPress)

    You can imagine how many people would be upset if their scores dropped!

    • Anna Rydne says:

      Keeping people happy should be the core in every company’s strategy! But I think Klout is taking customer satisfaction too seriously if this is true. On the other hand, perhaps they are afraid to cause such a fury as they did last year when most of their users got a lowered score when they made an algorithm change.

      I think it’s good that Klout now are looking into far more parameters than they did before. Today social media is a lot more than just Facebook and Twitter. Instagram is a rising star (more than that actually) and WordPress is also very important. But I still don’t understand why they don’t include Pinterest. (Not only questioning this because I hang around the site quite a lot myself).

      One could talk forever about Klout. It’s obvious it raises a lot of feelings.

      Thanks for taking your time to comment! Besides this, I also got a chance to discover your blog. Thanks!

  8. This is hysterical (the high school beauty queen of ’89 part, particularly…but for me, it’s ’91…). But it’s also scary true! The Klout app makes me laugh — I’m so glad someone else can see the lack of usefulness. But my shiny “63” is there, in all it’s red and white glory…

    But Klout still thinks I’m influential about “taxes,” “zoo,” and “Auburn University,” among other trending topics. I’m a humor blogger and full-time freelance writer who mostly blogs about my crazy life, post-divorce. I rarely attend zoos, barely know how to file a tax return and don’t even know where Auburn University is.

    So clearly, the algorithm may still be a bit wonky… 😉

    • Anna Rydne says:

      Actually, the high school beauty queen of ’89 was my favorite part to write as well. Hope it didn’t offended someone (a beauty queen from 1989 for example) or maybe I hope it did… It’s a fine line there.

      My compliments to your blog! I read through your story about Boyfriend Brett and it really touched me when thinking you’ve lost such a great guy- and then it turned out you hadn’t. Perfect turnaround! And congratulations to you two! I’m now a follower of your great texts.

      Thanks for commenting and welcome back!

  9. To be honest, the innovation of Klout scores concerns me. Adding to the point you mention regarding needing a particular score to get job interviews in certain fields, I have also read of certain high profile events only being open to people with enough Klout. While Klout may be a good way to measure people’s social influence, I fear it will only add to the ever-expanding gap between the haves and have-nots; not everyone is fortunate enough to have access to social media, let alone the time to devote to growing their presence thereupon. As such, I’m personally hoping that the hype about Klout dies down soon, or at least that Klout doesn’t gain any more momentum.

    In the mean time, though, good luck on continuing to grow your score!

    • Anna Rydne says:

      Well, I think it’s always been “certain people” who have been admitted to certain events. If you are hosting an expensive event, you must make sure you’ve got return of investment. You don’t want to throw money away. That’s the harsh reality.

      Deciding who to invite based on Klout score seem much more fair to me than just invite “the usual crowd of people who know other people”. That’s something that I dislike more than anything. I actually think Klout is good for marketing professionals. It measures something: social media interaction. It’s not the beauty queen of ’89 who gets invited anymore (to quote myself). It’s people who really do spread the word of mouth. It’s people who actually can return investments.

      I wrote a section about this in my other Klout-story: You’re not Judged by Klout Score. Your Digital Presence is. Read it, but keep in mind it was written before the algorithm change was known so all facts may not be completely accurate.

      You got a point when adding that not everyone have access to social media. That’s certainly true and something we don’t talk about much. On the other hand, Klout only does affect a small group of people. And it’s really not necessary to be part of this group. It can be okay to be the high school beauty queen of ’89 too.

      Thank you so much for commenting! Writing this reply really helped me to sort my own thoughts.

  10. jennhudson says:

    I was excited about this as well. told my husband, I might not can change my credit score today, but I sure can work on my Klout! LOL! I think the # is a personal challenge for engaging socially, and you can see your “timeline” of payoff. I’m loving it.

    • Anna Rydne says:

      I suppose your husband didn’t buy it?! Nice try though! 🙂 Agree with you that Klout is useful when setting personal goals related to social media. People like to record their goals all the time: just look how many apps there is related to personal sports results. So why not social media? Go for your Klout scores! Maybe your hubbie will understand better when you bring home the perks!

  11. […] other day I got an email in my inbox: the editor of WordPress wrote that they picked my post Head in the Klout: My Score Went Up. How About Yours? to appear on the Freshly Pressed section on the WordPress home […]

  12. I’m definitely liking Klout so far and still figuring out ways to use it to my advantage. It’s thrilling to see the numbers go up, but more than that it motivates me to keep active and engaged on my social media platforms.

  13. […] Head in the Klout: My Score Went Up. How About Yours?. […]

  14. […] Christopher Swan, the founder of Accidental Information, asked me to write for them after my story on Klout was Freshly Pressed at WordPress.com, I just had to take a short glance at their site to decide it […]

  15. […] queen of ’89 who doesn’t get invited to high-profile events anymore (to quote myself in this story). Rather, it’s the people who naturally spread the message. These important influencers will […]

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