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Klout Ranks the Time 100: Guess Who’s #1 using Social Media?


President Obama may be enormously influential in the real world, but when it comes to online influence, he’s got nothing on Justin Bieber — at least according to Klout

The social analytics measurement tool published the various Klout scores of the 2012 Time 100 — Time magazine’s list of the most influential people of the year.

A shift in what drives influence greatly impacted the movers-and-shakers who landed on this year’s list. Justin Bieber is the only person with a perfect 100 Klout score, perhaps thanks to his “beliebers.” Bieber made last year’s Time 100. Other high scorers are Rihanna (95), Lady Gaga (94) and Barack Obama (92) — all on this year’s list. Mashable’s own Pete Cashmore ranks high, too, with a Klout score of 89.

More than half (53%) of the Time 100 had Klout scores because they were participating in social media. The average Klout score of the group is 62.

Klout typically doesn’t produce rankings lists because the site’s purpose is to help everyone understand and benefit from their online influence, Lynn Fox, who wrote the rankings post, replied in an email message. Fox points to the opening letter Time Editor Rick Stenge wrote for the TIME 100 issue in which he basically says never has it been easier to reach a mass audience and drive opinion than with the use of social media tools. “Before microphones and television were invented, a leader had to stand in front of a crowd and bellow. Now she can tweet a phrase that reaches millions in a flash,” he wrote.

Not all people on the Time 100 are active on social media. Manal al-Sarif, the Saudi Arabian woman who was jailed for driving because it’s illegal in her country, and Samira Ibrahim, who protested forced virginity tests in Egypt.

“We define influence as the ability to drive action, and we find that keeping up a steady cadence of quality content inspires people to stay engaged with you online,” Fox wrote in an email message.


Everyone has influence, and influence is the ability to drive action. You’ve heard Klout say this time and time again. The 2012 TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World have been named, and this year the list speaks volumes to the shift of the web from pages to people, and the profound effect this has on influence.

As TIME Editor Rick Stengel writes in his excellent opening letter, “Before microphones and television were invented, a leader had to stand in front of a crowd and bellow. Now she can tweet a phrase that reaches millions in a flash. Influence was never easier — or more ephemeral.” This is an important statement from a publication that issues the annual barometer of real-world influence.

Time put these words into action with the inclusion of people like Manal al-Sarif, the woman who was jailed for driving in Saudi Arabia (it’s illegal for women to drive in the country), and Samira Ibrahim, who stood up to the courts in Egypt over forced virginity tests. These women are part of the 47 percent of people who are not scored by Klout because they are not active on social media. We’re working on that.

However, the internet gives us the opportunity to measure how the people who are active in social media influence each other online. Some 53 percent of of the TIME 100 have Klout Scores, ranging from Rihanna’s 95 to Donald Sadoway, the MIT scholar who measures in at 23. The average Klout Score among those on the list is 62. Interesting entrants on the list are also extremely active and influential online. Outside of the U.S., Russian watchdog Alexei Navalni comes in at 81 – that is higher than the average of all U.S. politicians on the list (80). The highest “mogul” on the list also resides outside of the U.S. – Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista clocks in at 77, higher than mogul cohorts Chelsea Handler (73), Sheryl Sandberg (52) and Warren Buffet (64).

Care to share your Klout score? How important is it to be influential on social media if you want to be influential in the real world? Tell us in the comments
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