There was lots of buzz about Klout when it launched in 2008, dubbing itself “The Standard For Influence.” However, the algorithm seemed to change frequently and I didn’t see how trying to actively manage my Klout score played any part in how influential or well connected I was online. So I went on about my business and forgot all about it.
Turns out I wasn’t the only one who was unconvinced that Klout was delivering on it’s value proposition. In fact, there was some pretty loud criticism of Klout, in regard privacy concerns and algorithmic messiness in 2011. CNN Money contributor John Scalizy even went so far as to say Klout scoring was potentially” socially evil.”
Klout CEO Joe Fernandez response to the criticism was essentially: It’s working the way it was designed. Still, Klout continued tweaking the algorithm, with little noise from critics. However, the biggest news since the 2011 controversy came a few weeks ago when COO Emil Michael jumped to another startup ship. According to Business Insider this news started a “rumor mill” but ultimately, Klout just seems to be struggling through an adolescent phase while still trying to figure out the right product-market fit.
Fernandez admitted that the current stage in Klout’s development is painful but he is hopeful for the future. “If your vision is to build something big and bold that has never been done before, it’s likely going to take time. Any long journey can look like failure when you are only half way through,” he said to Business Insider.