Klout recently added Facebook into its influence measurement (which previously was looking mostly at Twitter). Even after recalculating my Klout score from time to time, it didn’t move from my initial score until I added in my Facebook profile. The Facebook integration still doesn’t look at any fan pages (just your profile), but does provide some useful information. After my previous review, my complaint about Klout using only bit.ly’s data for clicks on links is still an issue — if you don’t happen to use bit.ly to shorten your links, Klout has no data about them, and this may negatively affect your influence score. Let’s look at what information the Facebook integration has added….
The Klout Score now take your Facebook influence into account by looking at the number of likes and comments on your content and how many unique likers and commenters you have (and probably how many friends too). Overall, my score went up, which I’m attributing to the information that was gathered from Facebook, since I haven’t seen the score move in the past 6 months. Influence measurement really does depend on what networks you’re measuring — people are likely to be more influential in some places over others (can we really measure influence with any accuracy?). They’ve also added some Facebook achievements…
The Influence Matrix now takes into account Facebook as well, although you can’t really distinguish between the two. It’s based on who you are influenced by and who influences you. Those people didn’t change for me (nor their scores) and neither did my Klout classification as a Networker. However, where those people were on the matrix did change. And now we can see where the influencees are on the matrix, where we could not before.
The content analysis just provided a list of some of the topics where I have the most influence, and nothing else — perhaps this section is reliant on the bit.ly information which I don’t have (I use another URL shortener)? Very little information here.
True Reach is a measure of the size of your engaged audience, as opposed to the number of people following or connected to you. This looks to be a new measure from the last review and adds engagement measurements from Facebook. The follower mention measurement looks suspect to me since I regularly converse and mention people who I know are following me — does this number seem correct for anyone else?
Amplification adds Facebook total likes and total comments (over what time period?) to it’s measurement. I’m also wondering what time period the twitter retweets and mentions are measured.
Network has removed the number of Twitter list inclusions (why?) and has added Facebook unique likers and unique commenters.
Klout can be a useful tool for measuring the trends of your own influence, as long as you’re aware of its caveats and how it’s measuring. Some of this information is not fully disclosed (since they don’t want others to be able to reproduce their algorithm), which can make it difficult to make your own intelligent decisions about the data.
There’s a real issue of mixing professional and personal profiles when measuring influence with Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter, any individual, group, company or whatever can have a profile, whereas on Facebook, companies can only have a page or group. By only connecting to Facebook profiles, Klout may be mixing someone’s personal Facebook influence with their professional Twitter influence (since you don’t have the option of connecting to a Facebook page). Klout needs to add the ability to only look at Facebook pages (or let you control the settings) in order to get a good influence measurement for Facebook.
Only using bit.ly for analysis of Twitter content and clicks on links is a big issue as well. There are many URL shorteners out there, including custom domains, which means that Klout only has a portion of the information necessary to judge based on this info (maybe they properly exclude it from those who are not using it).
If you use Klout as a tool for getting more information about your influence and how it trends over time, it can be a useful (and free!) tool. However, I would not use it as the definitive measurement of influence at this point.
What do you think?