Saturday 3 December 2011

Klout 'o Calypse: 2.5 million people can't be wrong

I wrote an initial post on people killing their Klout on the very same day that Klout enabled them to do so. I took tweets as a basis for my testset, and it appeared that 20% of (the 300) people tweeting about being able to delete your Klout profile, also had actually done so.
Two weeks after that, this percentage had grown to 25%: of those initial 300 people, 75 had deleted their Klout profile. Wow!
Then I read an interview by Rohn Jay Miller with Klout's CEO Joe Fernandez, who stated that less than 0.01% of users have deleted their Klout profile

25% on my side, 0.01% on Joe's - that gap definitely deserves closer investigation. How many people have deleted their Klout profile? The answer is right here

Where do you start when you want to compare before and after, without having 'a before'? If I were just to take someone and find that he or she didn't have a Klout profile, that would not guarantee me that such was the case before November 1st.
Or, I could e.g. take Twitter lists as basis, but that would give me a "crooked" sample, as I'd have to do that for Facebook and now Google+ as well (and how?!) - and Twitter lists don't show a balanced representation of the Twitter world to begin with.
So, no easy task. So I was really very happy when I got a database from Christopher Penn containing 19,759 Klout profile id's - once again thank you very much Christopher!

And off I went. I assembled a small script and retrieved nearly 20,000 Klout profiles, and the results were more than interesting. The picture above shows the division of scores along the entire testset: I ignored all scores that were 10 as these are heavily overrepresented (6% of total scores) and known to be indications of flaws even very recently. What remained, was 18,523 Klout scores to analyse; more than enough for a representative sample

What did I see? I saw that plenty of people had deleted their Klout account.
The profile deletion percentage started up high, and became smaller as I moved "down the line":

  • of the 59 profiles with a score <= 100 and >= 80, 1.8% deleted their profile
  • of the 285 people with a score < 80 and >= 70, 5.6% deleted their profile
  • of the 917 people with a score < 70 and >= 60, 4.6% deleted their profile
  • of the 2,035 people with a score < 60 and >= 50, 4.4% deleted their profile
  • of the 3,133 people with a score < 50 and >= 40, 3.2% deleted their profile
  • of the 4,162 people with a score < 40 and >= 30, 2.1 % deleted their profile
  • of the 4,126 people with a score < 30 and >= 20, 1.8 % deleted their profile
  • of the 3,806 people with a score < 20 and > 10, 1.8 % deleted their profile

There must be millions of people on Twitter who aren't aware of the fact that Klout has profiled them without their explicit or even implicit consent - so I'm not surprised that the numbers in the lower ranges show a significantly smaller percentage.
I think that the most "active and aware" Klout profiles are in the old 60-80 range as these are likely to be human beings that receive a relatively afwul lot of @mentions and RT's. Of those with a score 80 and above, only 30% are "normal human beings" where I even count e.g. Guy Kawasaki and Brian Solis - but not e.g. Justin Bieber (no offense Biebs). Hence the word "profiles" up there in stead of people

So it is particularly impressive that 5.6% of people with a Klout score between 70 and 80 - people deemed highly influential - have turned their back on Klout, but the 1.8% of profiles with a Klout score of in between 80 and 100 who have deleted it give a very clear signal that people want choice, no matter what.
If you leave out the brands and mega-celebrities up there, the percentage of people with a score of 80 or up that have deleted their "akkount" is 5.5%.
If you take the entire range of people with a score in between 80 and 50, 4.5% of those have killed their Klout

All this is only after one full month since Klout has enabled profile deletion. That's not a simple one-click action, it's a chain of events really but still, that hasn't prevented them from doing so. This is only the beginning, and for sure there is more to come

If you add the thousands and thousands of the "long tail", you end up with a percentage of 2.5 in total that has done so - of the more than 100 million profiles Klout claims to have, this means that more than two million people have deleted their Klout profile. To be exact, at least two million and five hundred thousand people: 2,500,000

(Just a small pause to let that sink in...)

Yet, 2.5%? That is only 10% of my initial 300 people test-set in the November 2nd post mentioned above!
But, Joe, or Klout for that matter - 2.5% is not equal to 0.01% either. In fact, it is 250 times as much as what you said it was

Isn't it awkward that Klout claims their biggest priority for the new scoring model was to increase transparency, yet redefines the very meaning of that word on one of the first occasions?
Not only am I done with trusting Klout to assign me a number - I'm done with trusting Klout period. And I am one of over 2.5 million people

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