Will Klout ever let you go?

In November 2011, I quit Klout. Totally and completely. Not only did I close the account, but also I cancelled permissions to allow Klout to connect to each of the online social places to which I’d previously given it permission. That included manually removing permissions from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare and others I can’t recall.

Now and again, I checked to be sure I wasn’t on Klout: if I went to www.klout.com/jangles, I’d get a 404 error.

Precisely what I’d expect when Klout had told me last November “You will be removed from Klout.com within 24-48 hours” as noted in the screenshot above of the confirmation message I got once I’d done the terminating click.

Today, I decided to sign up again. Notwithstanding my scepticism about Klout’s business model – an opinion largely unchanged since I wrote about it last year – I wanted to see for myself what all the new stuff Klout rolled out earlier this week was about. You can’t really do that unless you’re in the system.

It’s also partly spurred by discussions between Shel Holtz and I in recent episodes of our weekly podcast in which we’ve discussed matters like recruiters specifying a certain Klout score as a desired candidate attribute, something Salesforce.com did recently; and taking this recruiting notion a stage further to look at the context of someone’s score rather than the score itself as Andrew Grill, CEO of Klout competitor Kred, argues.

So I go to Klout.com to sign up again – and discover that my account is actually still there, just “disabled.”

“This account is currently disabled,” the popup message says when I click on the ‘Sign in with Twitter’ button and give Klout permission to log in to my Twitter account.

So much for saying “You will be removed from Klout.com within 24-48 hours” nine months ago, Klout.

If I now go to www.klout.com/jangles, I get a redirect to Facebook with a request to install a Klout app there. I don’t think so.

The popup text continues, “If you believe you’re seeing this message in error, please write contact@klout.com.” No, I now have no desire nor interest to communicate with Klout.

If I want to get to know what Klout is up to, I’m quite comfortable reading the opinions and words of wisdom of friends and colleagues in America who use this service. Meanwhile, I’m quite happy with Kred and PeerIndex.

Why on earth would I give Klout any trust at all?

[Later:] I had a brainwave and created the perfect theme song for Klout. Go ahead, give it a whirl.

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Sean Carlos

    Neville, I suspect what we really have here is a “communications opportunity”. As the 3 better known social capital scoring services work on an opt-out rather than opt-in basis, they need to track somewhere that a user, in this case the twitter username “jangles”, has opted-out of their service (only recently possible w/ PeerIndex, not yet possible with Kred which only allows you to hide an account). Thus Klout will probably still track minimal information on “jangles” in their database: e.g. twitter username, date of deletion request, perhaps request IP. I assume that what you see when you try to login to a “deleted” account is a not so well thought out message written by a poor programmer slaving away somewhere in the world. Programmers are well versed in speaking with computers, less so with people. From a user point of view, the account probably has been deleted. Internally the account has probably been flagged as disabled (and one would expect that non-essential data deleted), otherwise Klout would automatically opt you in again.

  2. Zero trust. | NevilleHobson.eu

    […] Will Klout ever let you go? In November 2011, I quit Klout. Totally and completely. Not only did I close the account, but also I cancelled permissions to allow Klout to connect to each of the online social places to which I’d pr… […]

  3. Maggie McGary

    Same thing happened to me, except I didn’t even get the “this account currently disabled” message–just a prompt to connect to the Facebook app, and there was my account.

  4. twofourseven

    Great piece, I checked that I had been removed, and then, out of the blue I got a request to join from somebody I trust on FB. I tried to delete the app from FB and it just redirected me to Klout, which duly started the process of signing me up. No, No, No.

  5. Sorry Klout, but You Can’t Polish a Turd « FutureComms

    […] Neville Hobson wrote about how, going through the same thought process as me, he went to re-sign up only to find that despite unlinking everything ten months ago, his account was just ‘disabled’ rather than deleted. WTF? “Why on earth would I give Klout any trust at all?”, he says in a post entitled ‘Will Klout Ever Let You Go?’ […]

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