Flash Crash: Klout’s New Scoring Model Sends Users Influence Plummeting

Yesterday we reported that Klout, a service that measures users social media influence and reach, had signed a term sheet to raise a big new round of capital.

Today, Klout released a new scoring model, and the impact on some loyal users was dramatic:

Very unhappy with this change. My score went from 73 down to 53. 20 point drop. I’ve been working for months to increase my Klout score. Please fix this.
Same here – went from 58 t0 40 and lost all my TOPICS. The problem is that major changes invalidate existing articles and references using the Klout score. This trashed a 6-month effort to get our organization to use Klout as a measure of social media marketing effectiveness. Back to square one, but this time I’ll have to use PeerIndex or something else more stable.

Klout system is called PeopleRank, after Google’s famed PageRank. Like Google, Klout deals with a ton of data, and has to adjust its algorithms to help combat people who are gaming the system and take account of new services or platforms influencing the social media sphere. As the company put it in the comment thread:
Hey Ruxtbl, You can think of this change similar to how Google changes it’s PageRank to always ensure the highest level of accuracy. Their goal is to find the most valuable content for your search, and our goal is to accurately measure influence. If your goal is becoming more influential and not gaming the Score, you’ll do just fine.

Klout’s success had made its score an authoritative figure in social media marketing circles. But the sudden change in users scores has soured many on Klout as a stable metric for employment.
  • I can handle a score change but you should then also update the history statistics as anyone viewing my graphs see a massive plummet with no explanation why it’s gone down hill so fast. If I was searching for a job in Social Media right now I’d be concerned.
  • As someone who is searching for a job in SM, I AM concerned.
  • Same here – and the change shot things to heck and back.
  • I feel bad for people in Social Media / Branding who rely on their Klout score (to some extent) for their livelihoods! I’m sure most of them saw big drops.

Another interesting note, Klout seems to have applied this new score retroactively. Today it’s 57.50, and the graph on Klout informs us we haven’t been above 60 anytime in the last month.

We grabbed a snapshot yesterday for our story, when our score was 64.

Flash Crash: Klout’s New Scoring Model Sends Users Influence Plummeting