I did what I guess most of you did when you saw the first entry of flout.me in your Twitter timeline: frown. Then I saw another one. And another one. And smiled. I clicked the URL, authorised the app, then laughed out loud
Looks familiar? Well, there's more to it than that: Flout is a Klout superstar!
Flout has been on Twitter for three days now, and currently at a Klout score of 61. Yes, 61 - impressive hey? What have they done to get there?
Well nothing really. They follow only the two people that created them, have over 6,000 followers, and received 5K mentions according to Klout.
Their real and average stats are on top of this post (thank you Twuniverse) and here are the Klout ones:
I really like how Klout has faked a piece of history there, as if Flout had been on Twitter for over a month. Apparently, Klout thinks a Klout score of 0 isn't a dead give-away of non-existence? Oh well.
Only @mentions are shown, not the number of following or followers - how odd. If you don't measure those on a daily basis, how can you calculate True Reach? (hint: you can't)
So, that's the fun part. Flout has proven how easily you can make it into the Klout hitparade and be considered "influential". Klout has always been easily gamed and bots all over the world became King in a matter of weeks, but this one is, of course, particularly fun as Klout's excuse for the latest huge drop in scores is
Stability and consistency
Seeing the ebb and flow of your influence on a daily basis is helpful, but we also understand that your influence rarely makes huge jumps in short intervals of time. We considered massive spikes and steep drops as problems in the way our algorithm behaved. Our new algorithm makes the Klout Score more stable by taking a longer window of time (90 days instead of 30) into account when measuring your influence
Allow me to BUHAHAHA at that just once more please, thank you
Now, the nasty part: Flout's hidden behaviour
I looked at Twitter web today and saw that I was following @floutdotme. How odd, as I don't recall having followed them. I did recall authorising them and clicking a button, but that was it. So I did some testing and it appears that you automatically follow @floutdotme once you authorise their application - even before you set your score or tweet about it.
If you revoke access to them, it doesn't automatically unfollow.
That sucks - no matter how you put it
It seems that Flout is breaking the Twitter rules here, especially the following:
Spam: You may not use the Twitter service for the purpose of spamming anyone. What constitutes “spamming” will evolve as we respond to new tricks and tactics by spammers. Some of the factors that we take into account when determining what conduct is considered to be spamming are:
- Creating or purchasing accounts in order to gain followers;
Other than that, it's a very nasty habit to automatically have someone follow you when they authorise your account. As far as memory serves me, I haven't seen this before. Not even Klout does that, or has ever done it
So, Flout, I've reported you as spam, even though you gave me a really good time. I hope others do so as well, but above all I hope you stop getting free follows this way, and make up for this dirty trick