Klout Rates More Than 100M People -- Whether They Know It or Not

Joe Fernandez on This Week In Startups/This Week In Social Media #155

Klout, which measures social influence through individuals' social media accounts, has rated more than 100M people.

Klout measures social influence in up to 10 different networks -- mainly Twitter but also Facebook, LinkedIn and Foursquare. Klout plans to add more networks, including Google+ when the API becomes available.

But of the 100M people who have been given Klout scores, how many of them actually know they have one?

"Klout collects public data in order to accurately measure influence. Users can control the data available to Klout by changing the privacy settings on individual networks. Klout will never access your private data unless we have explicit permission," a Klout spokesperson told Launch via email.

Klout's policy boils down to the fact that Twitter profiles are public by default and tweets are public unless locked, making them accessible through the Twitter API. Opting out of Klout's system altogether has proven difficult, as Canada-based marketing expert and social media blogger Danny Brown found. Danny is one of the most vocal opponents of Klout's opt-out policy [ see our story ].

"How many of these accounts don't even know you created them?" Danny asked on the Klout 100M announcement post. "Or how many have asked to be removed from your questionable opt-out practice? Will you respect the wishes of people that want out your system or will you continue to use their name and likeness against their express wishes?"

Klout gives people a base score of 10 for even the most inactive social media users or those with locked accounts. The average score is 20, with celebrities like Justin Bieber at 99 and Lady Gaga at 92.