RIP Klout

Remember Klout?

The influencer market service that purportedly let social media influencers get free stuff is finally closing its doors this month.

Perhaps, like me, you’re surprised that Klout is still running in 2018, but time is nearly up. The closure will happen May 25 — you have until then to see what topics you’re apparently an expert on. The shutdown comes more than four years after it was acquired by social media software company Lithium Technologies for a reported $200 million. The plan was for Lithium to IPO, but that never happened.

Lithium operates a range of social media services, including products that handle social media marketing campaigns and engagement with customers, and now it has decided that Klout is no longer part of its vision.

“The Klout acquisition provided Lithium with valuable artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities but Klout as a standalone service is not aligned with our long-term strategy,” CEO Pete Hess wrote in a short note.

Hess said those apparent AI and ML smarts will be put to work in the company’s other product lines.

Interestingly, it appears that the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on data is partially involved here. A Lithium spokesperson told TechCrunch that “the upcoming deadline for GDPR implementation simply expedited our plans to sunset Klout,” though the primary reason is said to be a new focus on messaging-based services.

The game isn’t entirely over. Hess teased a potential Klout replacement in the form of “a new social impact scoring methodology based on Twitter” that Lithium is apparently planning to release soon. I’m pretty sure someone out there is already pledging to bring Klout back on the blockchain and is frantically writing up an ICO whitepaper as we speak because that’s how it is these days.

RIP Klout

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