Lithium, the social media community software that purchased Klout in 2014, announced that it will shut down the site on May 25, 2018, a date which coincides with the launch of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Reputation is everything
Klout, a social media reputation platform, is a red flag under the GDPR, as the software analyzes people’s expertise and credibility without their complete consent. Klout allows users to link their social media accounts to determine their expertise on certain topics, based on posts they have shared and friends they are connected to. Once Klout analyzes their internet presence, it provides an influential score.
Lithium CEO Pete Hess reported that Klout is a “a standalone consumer-facing service” that no longer fits the focus of delivering customer service solutions. In addition, “recent discussions on data privacy and GDPR are further expediting our plans to phase out the Klout service, giving us a chance to lead on some of the issues that are of critical importance to our customers: data privacy, consumer choice and compliance.”
Implications for marketers
The imminence of GDPR is forcing marketing teams to think differently about how they collect and analyze consumer data. This is simply one example of how companies are rationalizing services that no longer meet the strict criteria of GDPR.
The GDPR challenges business to consider consumer rights and privacy over building an email list or gathering data. Under the new regulations, consumers have the right to decide whether or not they consent to handing over their personal information. Thus, marketers must take care to explain what data they collect and how they will use it in their business, in plain language.