Klout is about to become less of a mystery to everyone. Or at least, how the service determines your influence will. A new release of the influence measurement tool hits this week and I got a sneak peek. Overall, it’s going to be easier for individual users to understand what impacts their scores. Not only does the new Klout have a user dashboard that shows what percentage of your score is impacted by which networks, but what metrics on those networks it’s seeing.
As I’ve said before, Klout is one way of looking at influence. I like the product and think it’s useful, but I would caution anyone from using Klout scores alone to determine anything. Klout, in conjunction with other scores, human analysis, website traffic and even off-line metrics, can be used to develop a very nice influence profile of someone you can use in your marketing and public relations efforts. But Klout scores alone mean very little.
With its new redesign and focus on revealing more about what goes into a person’s score, however, Klout is showing businesses and individuals the way to improving theirs. A high Klout score isn’t a bad thing to have or aspire to. It means you have some measure of online impact in what you share and produce in terms of content on the social web. Understanding you score and what makes it such can only help you build your own, or understand that of others.
The biggest feature add-on with the new release is the Moments. Recent posts you’ve made that have impacted a number of others are shown with a list of what other individuals (and their respective scores) interacted with or were impacted by that piece of content. In a different view, one that shows your interactions, you see a little green dot array of how impactful that particular interaction was in improving your score.
So now you can test and measure to see what impact your content is having and who it is having and impact upon. Very nice.
For companies using Klout, the new changes mean better understanding through improved metrics and indicators of what triggers Klout’s algorithm. For companies not using Klout, it might actually now be time to look into it. At a minimum you’ll be able to easily see who you are impacting and what influential people your content may be reaching. That information can help you optimize and reach more in the future.
Keep in mind there are several critics of Klout’s privacy policies. Before you jump in as a brand, you should understand that Klout is opt-in, but the service has, in the past, used friends-of-friends input and data to measure and collect scores on individuals without their knowledge or approval. In some minds, that’s a violation of privacy. Frankly, I just think it’s a third-party measure of your public data, so I’ve never gotten upset about it. But that’s just my perspective. Others can explore that topic more deeply if you’re interested.
For me, Klout is a very useful look at online influence, particularly of individuals who spend a lot of time communicating on social networks. The new redesign and feature set are significant improvements on the practicality of using it.
Klout’s new changes should take effect with your account over the next few days. Enjoy and report back — what do you like or dislike about the new Klout.
P.S. – If you’re going to be in southern California in October, Klout CEO Joe Fernandez will be participating in a “fireside chat” with me at Explore Orange County. You can find out more here: Explore O.C.