I was just thinking back to how things were 5 years ago, and I was not doing much writing at the time. However, I was focused more on my social media management work. I was hired by several clients because they were impressed with my Klout score at the time. And, one of my jobs was to help increase the Klout scores of my clients. After all, that is what they wanted me to help them with anyway and I did.
If you don’t remember what Klout’s purpose was, it was there to calculate people’s scores based on their social media engagement. The more content they shared and the more engagement they received on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn (I think, I can’t remember which platforms they measured), the higher their scores were. That meant that if you had a high Klout score, you were influential and people looked up to you more.
During that time, Klout had potential to be something bigger and better than what they were doing. Many people took it quite seriously, and many of those who had higher Klout scores at that time really did end up with some good freebies (especially if they were living in the US). Additionally, many business owners with high Klout scores believed that they had gotten more business because of the fact that their clients and customers were attracted to their scores.
I definitely supported Klout and taught others about the importance of it back then. I also defended its purpose to those who were bold (and nasty) about not believing in it. However, back in 2014 when Lithium acquired the company, the buzz about Klout was dying down. In fact, that was the time when I started to wonder if those naysayers about Klout were right.
It was one of those situations where I was so into supporting the company, I had my rose-colored glasses on. I believed it was something greater and bigger than it really was- until I saw for myself that it was anything other than that.
I mean yes, at the time, having a high Klout score did serve me. Having a high Klout score did serve a lot of business owners. And, even a marketer got a job for having a high Klout score over someone who had a low score, even though he had more experience in the marketing field. Klout did serve its purpose for a short time, back then.
However, due to the fact that Klout had so many flaws, and that the potential it did have did not go anywhere, it did not last long. The fact of the matter is that anyone could have gamed up a high Klout score. Even though Klout did what they could to prevent score manipulation to happen- people still found ways to do it. That in itself killed its credibility.
And, what I think upset people the most about it was that there was the lack of transparency, and people just had enough.
Truthfully, once Lithium acquired Klout, I knew it was sold to them for a reason. The previous owners of Klout saw that it was failing miserably and wanted to make sure they got off of a sinking ship. And, they also had other plans in mind at the time which did not involve improving Klout.
I had actually forgotten about Klout for a while, and because of the fact that I was thinking about it today, I decided to find out if Klout is even a thing anymore. And lo and behold, I found out that Klout officially closed down on May 25th of this year.
I was surprised to learn this, but at the same time, not really. Klout was established a decade ago and started becoming quite popular between 2010 to 2013. Back in 2012 is when I started to utilize it and that is when I saw its potential at the time. I saw its potential and supported them from 2012 to early 2014, which is when Lithium had acquired Klout.
So that means now when you attempt to go on Klout’s website, it will automatically go to Lithium’s homepage with this message:
They had no use for Klout since it did not align with Lithium’s long-term business strategy, as they have stated on their homepage. That said, Klout really is dead, and there are other ways to be influential in your field without having to rely on some silly score to make that known to others. You know how to influential in your field? By just being you! Unapologetically you! RIP Klout.