After watching Klout for a couple of years, observing their measurement criteria and writing several blog posts about Klout, I believe “Klout Score” is one of the most reliable tools to measure and compare “social media influence” of the internet users.
Is Klout now trying to influence your influence?
Today Klout launched a new feature; “What to Post” is the latest Klout feature that suggests content to the users in their dashboard and want the users to share the “suggested content”.
Green Arrow shows the new feature at your networks menu.
Red Arrows show the sources of the suggested posts and you‘re encouraged by Klout to Retweet and Re-share Them!
Blue Arrow shows a field that you can publish a tweet or a “simple text” Facebook status.
I have some serious concerns to share about “What to Post”
- First of all, how suggesting content to users helps Klout to measure their influence?
- What’s the Klout objective “measuring influence” or shaping users taste, controlling their behavior and redefining the concept of influence?
- Why all the sources are among most powerful media? Even though sites such as Mashable or TheNextWeb have started to publish contents, as blogs now they are too powerful and commercialized to be called blog, when it comes to social media Mashable and TheNextWeb are considered “New Mainstream Media” Yet social media is all about decentralizing information and news sources.
I assume Klout has suggested content from these particular sources based on my topics of interests and probably my social activities. So other users may receive different content from other sources that are related to their topics of interest.
My main point in this article is that Klout can’t be the judge and the advocate in the same time. By adding features such as “What to Post” Klout technically is dominating the users to follow Klout’s favorite influential sources and trends.
If Klout wants to be and remain “ The standard for Influence” it should be only measurement tool not the things such as social network, engagement platform, content promoter, feed reader, job listing, group blog etc.
There is no doubt that the publishers, which Klout is suggesting offering lots of rich, readable and share-able content, But the fact that I’ve added social media related topics to my Klout profile means I’m familiar with most recognized publishers that cover social media news and updates; Therefore I gain nothing except a feeling that if I want rise my Klout Score I must follow its suggestions, So the real benefit goes to the Klout’s suggested publishers not the users who lose their independent judgment for choosing what to read and what to share.
If I am interested in a particular topic naturally I follow the most reputable media that covers my topic of interest, For example if I follow “The Economist” on Facebook, Twitter or other social channels, I will have all the social features to interact and communicate with the page or handle that I follow, I can like, comment, reply, mention my friends, like or reply other users comments etc, But Klout “What to Post” has slaughtered all the social tools and the users are softly forced to only “Share” the suggested content and forget about any other type of social interactions.
If Klout succeeds in convincing users to use “What to Post” in long term, there won’t be a clear line between those who Retweet via “What to Post” and Retweet-Bots.
(Retweet-Bots are the Robots that Retweet any tweet automatically based on a pre-defined criteria such as a particular HashTag or Handle)
I hope Klout removes “What to Post” and any other current feature that is not truly applicable for “influence measurement”.
The dynamic and restless team at Klout is constantly developing and adding new features to keep itself on top of the influence measurement platforms.But they’ve shown a great interest to touch and get involved in other areas of Social technology.
It seems “What to Post” is not the first attempt by Klout to become something other than only a measurement platform. From very first, in addition to “social influence measurement” Klout introduced +K aiming to create and publicize a “Social Currency”. Yet in my opinion neither +K nor some other similar claims can’t be defined as social currency, world is still waiting for born and rise of full-featured & scalable social currencies. As a clue “game mechanics” and “gamifications” are among the most important missing elements that stops +K from being a social currency.
Now Klout users can use +K to exchange endorsements on their topics of interests. Therefore something that planned and claimed to be a social currency is being used for a “socializing feature” almost similar to “LinkedIn Skills”.
My humble recommendation to Klout team is to take “Hedgehog Concept” very serious through their path, Klout is a great tool for measuring social influence but this area is vast as the whole universe and Klout is not good enough, it’s still passing very early stages to meet infinite needs of its visionary goal, but Klout can be the greatest measurement tool in the world now and in the future.
Note: I’ve published this post on the Medium as well.