Lithium has today announced that its once popular Klout service, which rated social media users on a scale of 0-100, will cease to be available as of 25th May 2018.
According to an official announcement published on its blog, it will shutdown both the ‘Klout score’ and the Klout website.
Data from SimilarWeb.com suggests the Klout.com website receives nearly 800,000 visits per month.
Klout was a popular service in its heyday and it formed its Klout score around several metrics including a user’s follower count and engagement metrics including shares or retweets.
It also offered unique reach metrics and considered many of a user’s accounts, including their accounts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, in evaluating that user’s Klout score.
This said, it was also heavily criticized and deemed to be a flawed measure of a user’s true influence on social media.
A lot of the criticism around the metric focused on why prominent or well-known celebrities or public figures were routinely outranked on Klout by relatively unknown bloggers or internet personalities.
Historically, many users would utilize their Klout score as a badge of honor symbolizing their effectiveness across social platforms.
Despite this, many of its fiercest critics argued that the manner the metric was calculated didn’t warrant the amount of influence it had acquired among social media users.
Moreover, many criticized the fact it had been used to influence real life hiring decisions. In 2012, Wired reported that a candidate had been passed over for a VP position, despite 15 years of experience working for multinational corporations, because his Klout score was 34.
The announcement also states Klout has effectively outlived its usefulness. “The Klout acquisition provided Lithium with valuable artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities but Klout as a standalone service is not aligned with our long-term strategy”.