Klout just released a new version of its popular mobile app. It is the new Klout. Well, so new that we wonder if it is still Klout. We also wonder if we still have a life, I mean a non-virtual one.
It’s a wonderful, wonderful (digital) world
The modern life brought us technology. Some of it makes our life easier, others entertain us and capture our attention on things we would not do 10 years ago. We say we have a 2.0 life or that our modern society became hyper-connected. It is a fact.
According to a study done by Radicati group, in 2014 we estimate that there will be 4 billion email accounts in the world. 1.1. Billion of these accounts are mobile users and more than 70% of it, are private accounts. By 2017, projections talk about 1 billion more. Every day there are 191 billion emails sent, 60% of them are business related.
If we talk about SMS, that old thing from the end of the 90’s, only in the USA there are 4.1 billion sent every single day (source: wikianswers).
According to Twitter statistics, there are more than 645 million twitter users in the world who generate more than 1 billion tweets every week. 45% of them are exclusively on mobile.
We live in a world in which technology entertain us and grab our attention.
Our smartphones, a new human organ?
One of the biggest inventions of the 20th century was not electricity, television, internet or even the land telephone. It was the smartphone. These little objects changed drastically the way we live, the way we communicate and socialize with others. Our smartphones became almost part of our body, like a secondary organ allowing us to see, hear, talk and engage with other people. Most of people have their entire lives in their mobile phones. Try to go outside your house without your smartphone for a day. You will feel naked and lost. Or even try to go 2 hours in a nice restaurant without it. That’s how modern life is. Hyper-connectivity and sharing. According to business insider, 2014 started by having 6% of world population that owns a tablet, 20% have a computer and 22% have a smartphone. When you think that in 2009 only 6% of world population had a smartphone, it shows how strong this is.
Social media, how your network became virtual
Internet and 2.0 companies developing as fast as they can, another interesting piece of technology that brought a deep change in human behavior is Social media. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and recently Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest took over our free time. Everybody enjoying a regular internet connection have one day at least tried. Facebook with 1.1 billion users, have probably reached the entire internet worldwide population. Some of us spend more time online virtually socializing rather than truly socializing in real life. In the other hand, we might probably being able to engage with people that we would not do, at least because of geographical distances. And a lot of these relationships become real life ones after a while. So every person using social networks en up with “friends”, “followers” or even “subscribers”. You can even buy them for a couple of dollars. Weird world we are living in. And because of all these activities you might have online, every person can have an impact. We see it durint the Arab Spring, the Kosovo war or even in everyday blogs. Today anyone can produce a piece of content and send it to the entire world to see. Some of us are more successful than others, which means each person has a different impact or has a certain amount of influence. That’s how we have opinion leaders or trendsetters, early adopters and followers. But how can you measure this online influence or impact? Well, that is how the company called Klout get into play.
Klout, a simple idea that went big
As the big trend is to being able to measure every thing, one simple idea was born in 2008 in California. How to measure people’s influence and impact over the social networks? How to spot the key influencers? And that’s why Klout was founded. The company aim was to put in place a methodology based on several criteria that would give a mark or a score to every person.
The slogan of the company is “The standard for influence”. This is how the company is described in wikipedia: Klout is a website and mobile app that uses social media analytics to rank its users according to online social influence via the “Klout Score”, which is a numerical value between 1 and 100. In determining the user score, Klout measures the size of a user’s social media network and correlates the content created to measure how other users interact with that content. My 87 years old aunt Ann will have a Klout score of zero, and currently Barack Obama has a score of 99.
It was a very interesting concept as no one was taking care of it before. And being able to identify the key influencers became a major trend.
Klout succeeded to be the ultimate reference for social score. In the USA, certain companies would not hire people for certain jobs if their Klout score would be under 30. Certain rumours would say that all top high-tech companies like Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, etc… Would even level up their expectancies to a klout score of 50.
Despite the fact Klout was very often criticized, it is a real success. The business model behind is what they call Perks. Basically, companies propose campaigns to Klout users in which they will make you experience the brand, either by product testing, discounts, invitations to events… Last year Klout delivered more than 1 million “Perks” over 400 campaigns. So that is where the money comes from. Earlier this year, in February, Klout was sold to Lithium Technologies, a CRM expert for more than 100 million dollars. Not bad for a 6 years old business. We do not know yet the intentions of Lithium, probably a better integration of the influencers key information into their tools. Analysing and identifying the current and potential Brands advocates are the hot topics right now in terms of Social media management.
The new Klout, less Klout more Lithium?
This month we got the Klout app update. It happened a couple of times already, but this time things radically changed. And i am not sure it is for a greater good. Now there are 2 major focus in the app.
The first one is the social sharing to Facebook and Twitter. Klout proposes you content, probably based on your activities. The goal being to offer you great content to be published right away. Why klout should allow you to do that? Especially that the content proposed comes from… where exactly?
You cannot see anymore your Klout score evolution and you cannot see anymore your influencers.
Basically the Klout app became a Facebook and Twitter content management tool. Unfortunately you cannot share your own content. You can only share the content that Klout offers you.
What is the legitimacy of Klout to curate content for you? Hard to describe. LinkedIn can curate profressional content, Facebook can curate social content but Klout? The positioning is pretty much unclear.
With the acquisition of Klout by Lithium Technologies, we can imagine a better curation and management of content throughout social networks. Probably the addition of more social networks would be something that Lithium can provide.
So if you were probably a big fan of Klout, you might be disappointed, if you did not know Klout before, you might like it. Anyway, it is different.
Info sourced at Klout app, Techcrunch, Mashable and wikipedia. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available.