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Type of businessKlout_header_cell_0_0_0 SubsidiaryKlout_cell_0_0_1
Type of siteKlout_header_cell_0_1_0 Social NetworkingKlout_cell_0_1_1
Available inKlout_header_cell_0_2_0 EnglishKlout_cell_0_2_1
HeadquartersKlout_header_cell_0_3_0 San Francisco, California, United StatesKlout_cell_0_3_1
Area servedKlout_header_cell_0_4_0 WorldwideKlout_cell_0_4_1
OwnerKlout_header_cell_0_5_0 Lithium TechnologiesKlout_cell_0_5_1
Founder(s)Klout_header_cell_0_6_0 Joe Fernandez
Binh TranKlout_cell_0_6_1
Key peopleKlout_header_cell_0_7_0 Joe Fernandez (CEO)

Emil Michael (COO)Klout_cell_0_7_1

EmployeesKlout_header_cell_0_8_0 40Klout_cell_0_8_1
URLKlout_header_cell_0_9_0 Klout_cell_0_9_1
AdvertisingKlout_header_cell_0_10_0 NoKlout_cell_0_10_1
RegistrationKlout_header_cell_0_11_0 OptionalKlout_cell_0_11_1
LaunchedKlout_header_cell_0_12_0 2008Klout_cell_0_12_1
Current statusKlout_header_cell_0_13_0 ClosedKlout_cell_0_13_1

Klout was a website and mobile app that used social media analytics to rate its users according to online social influence via the "Klout Score", which was a numerical value between 1 and 100. Klout_sentence_0

In determining the user score, Klout measured the size of a user's social media network and correlated the content created to measure how other users interact with that content. Klout_sentence_1

Klout launched in 2008. Klout_sentence_2

Lithium Technologies, who acquired the site in March 2014, closed the service on May 25, 2018. Klout_sentence_3

Klout used Bing, Facebook, Foursquare, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn (individuals' pages, not corporate/business), Twitter, Wikipedia, and YouTube data to create Klout user profiles that were assigned a unique "Klout Score". Klout_sentence_4

Klout scores ranged from 1 to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a higher ranking of the breadth and strength of one's online social influence. Klout_sentence_5

While all Twitter users were assigned a score, users who registered at Klout could link multiple social networks, of which network data was then aggregated to influence the user's Klout Score. Klout_sentence_6

Methodology Klout_section_0

Klout measured influence by using data points from Twitter, such as the following count, follower count, retweets, list memberships, how many spam/dead accounts were following you, how influential the people who retweet you were and unique mentions. Klout_sentence_7

This information was combined with data from a number of other social network followings and interactions to come up with the Klout Score. Klout_sentence_8

Other accounts such as Flickr, Blogger, Tumblr, Last.fm, and WordPress could also be linked by users, but they did not weigh into the Klout Score. Klout_sentence_9

Microsoft announced a strategic investment in Klout in September 2012 whereby Bing would have access to Klout influence technology, and Klout would have access to Bing search data for its scoring algorithm. Klout_sentence_10

Klout scores were supplemented with three nominally more specific measures, which Klout calls "true reach," "amplification" and "network impact." Klout_sentence_11

True reach is based on the size of a user's engaged audience who actively engage in the user's messages. Klout_sentence_12

Amplification score relates to the likelihood that one's messages will generate actions, such as retweets, mentions, likes and comments. Klout_sentence_13

Network impact reflects the computed influence value of a person's engaged audience. Klout_sentence_14

Business model Klout_section_1

Perks Klout_section_2

The primary business model for Klout involved companies paying Klout for Perks campaigns, in which a company offers free services or products to Klout users who match a pre-defined set of criteria including their scores, topics, and geographic locations. Klout_sentence_15

While Klout users who had received Perks were under no obligation to write about them, the hope was that they will effectively advertise the products on social media. Klout_sentence_16

Klout offered the Perks program beginning in 2010. Klout_sentence_17

According to Klout CEO Joe Fernandez, about 50 partnerships had been established as of November 2011. Klout_sentence_18

In May 2013, Klout announced that its users had claimed more than 1 million Perks across over 400 campaigns. Klout_sentence_19

Klout for business Klout_section_3

In March 2013, Klout announced its intention to begin displaying business analytics aimed at helping business and brand users learn about their online audiences. Klout_sentence_20

Content page Klout_section_4

In September 2012, Klout announced an information-sharing partnership with the Bing search engine, showing Klout scores in Bing searches and allowing Klout users to post items selected by Bing to social media. Klout_sentence_21

Criticism Klout_section_5

Several objections to Klout's methodology were raised regarding both the process by which scores were generated, and the overall societal effect. Klout_sentence_22

Critics pointed out that Klout scores were not representative of the influence a person really has, highlighted by Barack Obama, then President of the United States, having a lower influence score than a number of bloggers. Klout_sentence_23

Other social critics argued that the Klout score devalued authentic online communication and promoted social ranking and stratification by trying to quantify human interaction. Klout_sentence_24

Klout attempted to address some of these criticisms, and updated their algorithms so that Barack Obama's importance was better reflected. Klout_sentence_25

The site was criticized for violating the privacy of minors, and for exploiting users for its own profit. Klout_sentence_26

John Scalzi described the principle behind Klout's operation as "socially evil" in its exploitation of its users' status anxiety. Klout_sentence_27

Charles Stross described the service as "the Internet equivalent of herpes," blogging that his analysis of Klout's terms and conditions revealed that the company's business model was illegal in the United Kingdom, where it conflicted with the Data Protection Act 1998; Stross advised readers to delete their Klout accounts and opt out of Klout services. Klout_sentence_28

Ben Rothke concluded that "Klout has its work cut out and it seems like they need to be in beta a while longer. Klout_sentence_29

Klout can and should be applauded for trying to measure this monstrosity called social influence; but their results of influence should in truth, carry very little influence." Klout_sentence_30

Klout was criticised for the opacity of their methodology. Klout_sentence_31

While it was claimed that advanced machine learning techniques were used, leveraging network theory, Sean Golliher analysed Klout scores of Twitter users and found that the simple logarithm of the number of followers was sufficient to explain 95% of the variance. Klout_sentence_32

In November 2015 Klout released an academic paper discussing their methodology at the IEEE BigData 2015 Conference. Klout_sentence_33

In spite of the controversy, some employers made hiring decisions based on Klout scores. Klout_sentence_34

As reported in an article for Wired, a man recruited for a VP position with fifteen years of experience consulting for companies including America Online, Ford and Kraft was eliminated as a candidate specifically because of his Klout score, which at the time was 34, in favour of a candidate with a score of 67. Klout_sentence_35

Notable events Klout_section_6


  • September 2011: Klout integrated with Google+.Klout_item_0_0
  • October 2011: Klout changed its scoring algorithm, lowering many scores and creating complaints.Klout_item_0_1
  • November 2011: Klout partnered with Wahooly for their beta launch.Klout_item_0_2
  • January 2012: Klout was able to raise an estimated $30 million from a host of venture capital firms.Klout_item_0_3
  • February 2012: Klout acquired local and mobile neighborhood app Blockboard.Klout_item_0_4
  • May 2012: Klout announced growth of 2000 new partners over a one-year period.Klout_item_0_5
  • August 14, 2012: Klout changed its algorithm again.Klout_item_0_6
  • September 2012: Microsoft announced a strategic investment in Klout for an undisclosed sum.Klout_item_0_7
  • March 28, 2013: Klout announced inclusion of Instagram analytics in factoring Klout scores.Klout_item_0_8
  • May 13, 2013: Klout users had claimed more than 1 million Perks across over 400 campaigns.Klout_item_0_9
  • March 27, 2014: Lithium Technologies acquired Klout.Klout_item_0_10
  • September 14, 2015: Engagement on YouTube content was factored into the Klout ScoreKlout_item_0_11
  • October 29, 2015: Klout exposed inner workings of the Klout Score.Klout_item_0_12
  • May 10, 2018: Lithium announced that they would be ending the service on May 25, 2018.Klout_item_0_13

Similar metrics Klout_section_7


  • ClozeKlout_item_1_14
  • Commun.itKlout_item_1_15
  • EngagioKlout_item_1_16
  • PeerIndexKlout_item_1_17

See also Klout_section_8


  • Q Score, a rating system for brand/celebrity popularityKlout_item_2_18

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klout.