People who care too much about social media will argue that a low Klout score is an embarrassing blight on your Internet presence, but apparently a subpar number derived from a startup’s questionable algorithm can now also ruin your life.
According to Wired, a man named Sam Fiorella had 15 years of experience and was interviewing for a VP job at a marketing firm. When the boss saw that his Klout score was an abysmal 34, he basically terminated the interview right there, and ended up hiring someone with a much more impressive score of 67.
Oh, but that’s not all:
Matt Thomson, Klout’s VP of platform, says that a number of major companies—airlines, big-box retailers, hospitality brands—are discussing how best to use Klout scores. Soon, he predicts, people with formidable Klout will board planes earlier, get free access to VIP airport lounges, stay in better hotel rooms, and receive deep discounts from retail stores and flash-sale outlets.
So…. let’s get this straight. An imaginary number determined by how much of your life you share online may now be responsible for how you get treated IRL? Yikes.
Luckily, only marketers care about people with high Klout scores, because it makes it easier for them to identify influencers–the people they want talking about their brand. If you’re unconcerned with becoming an unofficial brand spokesperson just because you once tweeted “I love Starbucks!” to your thousands of followers, then you probably also don’t care about your Klout score.
The types of people who would gun for and brag about a high Klout score have always existed–they’re the Type A self-promoters with whom you can only spend 15 minutes before feeling overwhelmed and slightly icky. Let them have their high Klout scores. The rest of us don’t mind toiling away in Internet obscurity.
As for Mr. Fiorella, we think he dodged a bullet–who would want to work for a company that cares so much about a fake Internet number?