***UPDATED: Klout Influence Ratings Are Very Weird***
San Francisco, CA–Following the release of Klout for iOS, an application that allows users to more obnoxiously broadcast their presumed internet importance, über-conscious socialites and iPhone owners around the world are rejoicing.
Klout, a social media analytics site, measures so-called “Social Influence” on a 1 to 100 scale. This k-score, as it is known to internet fame fiends, is determined via a complex algorithm based on information gleaned from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, MySpace, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, TripAdvisor, Match.com, Reddit, and BuzzPies. Basically, the app takes information from websites and applications that users cherish and crunches the data into an irrelevant integer displayed at the top of the iPhone’s screen.
For some, the k-score presents an opportunity to show off in ways that posting shirtless MySpace self-pics (#selfies) and writing totally fake information in “About Me” sections fall short. Those with high k-scores are revered and praised; those with low k-scores must wallow in the dismay of single-digits.
Says founder Joe Fernandez, “This is about creating internet castes. And if you’re not part of our community, or if your influence level is too low, then you’re an untouchable.”
In addition to the highly-touted k-score, Klout offers a bevy of “Kloutperks,” ranging from coupons and concert tickets to deep tissue massages from burly men with high k-scores. Perks are earned by performing any number of “klout-worthy” tasks, including: meeting 100 new Facebook friends, LinkingIn with a celebrity, tweeting with over 140 characters, running a successful mayoral campaign on Foursquare, or convincing any person with a computer to join Google+.
With over 100 million users, Klout itself has likely earned a k-score north of 80. But not everybody is impressed. Dave Bargley, founder of rival influence application PopulAPP, finds Klout and its scoring system entirely repugnant.
“Holy guacamole,” Bargley was overheard muttering at the 2012 e-Popularity Convention in Las Vegas, NV, “I thought my app was douchey–and, certainly, it is–but this is unbelievable.”
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