November 4, 2011

Klout Score Changes

There has been a lot of talk about the changes Klout made to their scoring system last week. I thought it might be interesting to develop a perspective from the collected reactions across social media (which only seems fitting since Klout measures social influence).  While there are a number of assessment tools, I chose to use Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight™ Platform which does a nice job of completing and displaying SM sentiment analysis.

Before the big scoring update on 26-Oct-2011 Klout tried to prepare the general public in their 19-Oct-2011 blog post where they said: “A majority of users will see their Scores stay the same or go up but some users will see a drop”.  They even repeat the line verbatim in the post they released the day of with the following chart as some sort of proof:

It’s worth noting that another one of the major points Klout emphasized was the fact that the sub-score changes were going to be more transparent.

As soon as the updated scores were released, right away there was a lot of shock and awe.  Personally, I landed in the first 25% of the bell curve shown above and dropped 10 points!  And based on the messages I was reading on Twitter I wasn’t the only one with a big drop.

After a little searching by keywords, there was no doubt that a fair number of users knew the algorithm had be updated, and most weren’t singing its praises.   Given the 3:1 negative versus positive comment ratio, the wave seemed to be aggressively building until…it just ended.  There was two days of social rhetoric.  End of story.

If Klout correctly did their own research then most people should have seen lifts or no change, so why all the negative backlash?  My theory is that the scores updates effected two main profiles: 1) those users who were at the 13-25 Klout score level and saw a gain, and 2) those who had scores 45+, but saw a loss.

So let me ask a question, of these two groups, which group do you think will have the louder social media voice?  Nuf said.

And while there has been some back lash, I think it’s safe to say Klout won’t be dealing with any “qwikster-scale” customer exodus.  However, to stop the proverbial bleeding, it would be nice if they followed through with their promises and provided a little more transparency to the score influences.

For now I’ll stay an active Klout user and enjoy the #OccupyKlout fall out.

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