Out of Klout: The social media scoring service is shutting down

Klout, the tech pioneer that measured people’s social media star power, is shutting down after losing influence in an industry over which it once claimed to be the arbiter of influence.

The company invented the “Klout Score,” which professed to measure a person’s online influence based on their social media habits. The score was invented 10 years ago and became a contentious marker of social media standing and sometimes punchline. Many technophiles saw it as a badge of honor and made it a goal to win Klout’s highest rating by growing their social media accounts and staying active online.

For others, Klout bestowed an undeserved sense of superiority on people for illusory achievements online. At one point, Klout scores were being used in weighing job applicants at some companies. Britney Spears once went to the company’s headquarters in San Francisco demanding to know why her score was lower than Lady Gaga’s.

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Lars M. B. Anthonisen is Global Account Lead @ Google. Previously, he held various digital marketing positions at media companies across Europe and Asia including Regional Digital Director at MediaCom APAC, CMO at Adform and Digital Manager at Universal McCann Worldwide.