Launched in the year 2008, the social media influence scoring tool Klout is shutting on May 25th, 2018. The date of shutting down is coincidentally the deadline for platforms and companies to comply with the new data privacy rules of European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
For social media starters then, the AI based platform was a way for everyone to rank themselves on how socially active they were and bestow expertise amongst the peers, the urge to highlight your influence score, led people to forget about the privacy concerns associated with the linking all social media accounts and allowing it to run its algorithm on them to find the score. The platform also assigned expertise tag to the users, basis the kind of content shared and the friends connected to.
Speculations say though it is not explicitly out the new data privacy rules can be the reason for the shutdown of the giant. The platform lost its utility in the US because of data privacy concerns, not matching European standards will drastically affect the revenues.
Lithium Technologies acquired Klout in the year 2014 for $200 million and the acquisition helped the former with valuable artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities but Klout as a standalone service was not aligned with long-term strategy, said Pete Hess in an open letter
Though the shutdown will not affect a lot, the tool was still one of the go to platforms to check someone’s social media score for various reasons, one of the applications of the platform was benchmarking Influencers as per domain expertise, passion points and interests, thereby assessing the mutual fit for collaborations.
Right before the shutdown announcement, the parent company Lithium announced plans with the product’s AI – “We will be looking to improve agent productivity within SMM and improve the overall user experience in Community through the application of AI, while we are also planning the launch of a new social impact scoring methodology based on Twitter.”
While the industry at large is perceiving this as just another platform shutdown, it would be interesting to see how the ecosystem evolves in the light of European Union’s GDPR and the spike in awareness around data privacy rules.
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