Obama topples Bieber's influence score

2012-08-15 16:53
Justin Bieber. (AFP)

Justin Bieber. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

San Francisco - Until recently, Justin Bieber was more influential than Barack Obama - at least in the world of Klout, the controversial web start-up that claims to measure people's online influence using an algorithm.

Not anymore.

Klout said on Tuesday it has overhauled its website and re-jigged its algorithms, mostly by pulling in data from Wikipedia entries, to better reflect a person's status in the real world.

The move toward calculating offline influence is a tricky but expected step for a company that divides opinion, and gets tongues wagging, like practically no other in Silicon Valley.

Since 2008, the firm has tagged social media users with a single number, between 1 and 100, intended to measure their influence. The Klout Score, as it is known, is now based on 400 variables, including how many Twitter followers someone has, and how often or likely it is for their Twitter or Facebook posts to get re-circulated.

LinkedIn

As well as changing the algorithm, chief executive Joe Fernandez said, Klout also now analyses LinkedIn profiles, so a user who describes themselves as a company "vice president" or other high-level title may find their Klout score boosted.

The overhaul, which began in January, was part of the company's effort to address critics who pointed to Bieber as a prime example of why quantifying online influence was, at best, irrelevant.

The teenage pop singer, with his army of 26 million Twitter followers who retweet his every word, had a Klout score that dwarfed that of the US president.

"We heard the common complaint, 'Klout's interesting, but what about people who are influential in the real world?'" Fernandez said one recent morning in his company's cavernous underground office in San Francisco.

But Fernandez has stuck to his belief that personal influence, that intangible currency of social networks, can be crunched into a number.

Score toppled


As a result of the new algorithm - which takes into account the number of references in a person's Wikipedia page - President Obama's Klout score has finally topped Bieber's, four years after Klout launched, Fernandez said.

"Barack Obama is hugely important," Fernandez said, deadpan. "He's referenced everywhere, and that gives him a higher score."

The social media analytics company now sucks in 12 billion bits of data every day from social networks including Facebook, Google Plus and Tumblr, up from 1 billion just months ago. As part of the revamp, most users will see a bump in their scores, according to Fernandez.

Klout, which sells insights about web users to companies, has caught the attention of major advertisers including carmakers such as GM's Chevrolet which want to identify influential people tweeting about cars, and market to them directly.

Read more on:    linkedin  |  justin bieber  |  barack obama  |  social networks  |  internet
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Delft - 11:25 AM
    Road name: R300 Southbound
    STATIONARY VEHICLE in the right lane before the Hindle Road exit
  • Tuesday Kuils River - 11:16 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come up to alert you of your security needs. It may be that you need to create a better structure for your finances...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.