I've made my thoughts known about services like Klout here in the past
and they have recently launched an update that shows why their thinking is flawed. A couple of weeks ago they added Blogger, Tumblr, Flickr, Instagram and Last.fm as new accounts that you can connect to your Klout account to improve your score. Klout is now measuring those services alongside the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin to give everybody a score of just how influential they are online. If the idea of giving you a ranking for your influence was ridiculous enough beforehand these latest releases show what a flawed concept this is...
You Need An iPhone To Be Influential??
For those of you not familiar with Instagram it is a cool new photo sharing app that allows you to upload photos, add a filter and then share with friends. The only way that you can use the app though is via an iPhone. They don't even have a web presence yet. So basically by adding this service Instagram are flat out saying that to be influential you have to own an iPhone. I've never heard anything more ridiculous in all my life and this is clearly a sign that Klout are trying to get more publicity by adding popular apps rather than trying to correctly measure influence. Even the addition of Last.fm is a strange one. I get that people want to figure out who is influential in the music space but Last.fm is essentially a radio station where you listen to tracks based on your own personal tastes. Sure you can friend people and possibly even be influential but the really influential people in the music space have blogs and use other channels. I really don't care if you are influential on Last.fm. I am pretty sure it is only a matter of time before they add other hot start ups like Quora, Airbnb, Groupon and Google + to get as much buzz and PR as possible.
Who Actually Knows Your Influence?
The people who really know your influence are Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and Google. They track your every click on their networks and store it in a database. They actually have a score for every single one of us but that is information they will never share publicly. It's how they make you appear in suggested users, match you up to friends and determine what appears in your news feed. If Klout really wanted to calculate influnece they need access to those numbers and I'm guessing they never will get their hands on those. Tracking me on Instagram where I share photos with a handful of friends and family on a platform that is only accessed by about 0.01% of the general population is just ridiculous.