klout_logo_2011.jpg Social influence measurement platform Klout has integrated Facebook pages into its Klout Score calculations -- which should result in higher scores for page users.

In what could charitably be termed an understatement, a corporate blog posting by Klout states “Facebook pages are an extremely popular and important platform, where people, brands and organizations actively engage with their communities.” Facebook, the world’s largest social network, reported 901 million active members in an April 2012 SEC filing.

Positive Score Impact Expected for Page Users

Saying that Facebook pages have been one of the “most highly-requested additions” to the Klout score, Klout predicts the “significant” engagement volume will have a positive impact on user scores, which are ranked from 1 to 100 based on what Klout says are more than 400 social network variables, including who is engaging with and sharing user content as well as their number of contacts, fans and followers.

A Klout-produced chart, illustrating how the addition of Facebook pages affects the score curve of fan page users, shows fewer users with scores of 40 or lower and more users with scores of 50 and higher. Under the previous curve (without Facebook pages included), there were slightly more users with scores between 40 and 50.

In addition, users’ most influential Facebook page content will be represented in “Moments" -- snapshots provided by Klout to inform users of how specific social networking items boosted engagement and helped raise their overall score.

Klout Keeps Changing the Score

The addition of Facebook pages to Klout score calculations come only about six weeks after another major change to how the service measures online influence. In mid-August, Klout incorporated 12 times more data points, quadrupled the social signals it considers and focused more on “real-world influence.” Klout also added Wikipedia as a source -- and now takes into account items like users’ professional titles on LinkedIn -- in attempt to measure influence outside of the Internet.

The results of these changes affected even the most influential Klout users: pop star Justin Bieber dropped from a perfect 100 to 92 and US president Barack Obama rose from 94 to 99. The new Facebook page integration should presumably benefit Facebook page users, although whether there could be a negative effect on non-page users remains to be seen. And as CMSWire columnist Josette Rigsby pointed out when Klout made its last round of scoring changes, “Like search engines and other systems that attempt to measure nebulous concepts like ‘best’ and ‘most important,’ Klout will continually change and some users will attempt to scam the system to their advantage.”

In a short article about the latest scoring change, the Blog Herald also commented on how Klout does not stand still when it comes to refining how it measures social influence. “Klout is constantly updating their scoring metric, you may recall that earlier this year their ‘real-world influence’ metric began to give higher scores to CEOs and presidents than workers at McDonald’s or the UPS delivery guy,” states the Blog Herald before concluding, “It will be interesting to see how Klout managed to find 400 different aspects of a Klout user's life to help measure their Klout score.”

Microsoft Deal Spurs Bing Integration

In another sign of Klout never standing still, last week the company introduced a multi-year agreement with Microsoft that will place Klout scores and Klout-listed influential topics in its “People Who Know” sidebar of subject matter experts. As part of the agreement, Microsoft has also made an undisclosed strategic investment in Klout. In addition, Bing search data will gradually be included in Klout score calculations, starting with the inclusion of appearing in the “People Who Know” sidebar and also the frequency with which users who have a Wikipedia account linked to their Klout account are searched for on Bing.