A Quick Primer On Twitter Lists


Everyone loves tracking how many people they follow along with how many people follow them.  Followers have become so baked into pop culture that anytime a celebrity comes on Piers Morgan Tonight – the discussion at some point turns to who has the most Twitter followers.  There is however another Twitter metric that rarely gets talked about – and it also happens to be a great tool available to all Twitter users.

Twitter lists are an outstanding tool available to us all.  In your Twitter stream, you can see the latest updates from all of the people that you follow.  However, the Twitter steam sometimes becomes noisy because many people Tweet constantly, and if you are looking for specific info you’ll have to wade through non-relevant Tweets before finding what you are looking for.  A solution is to create a Twitter list for a targeted subject which will enable you to quickly see Tweets about that particular subject. 

For instance, let’s say one of your passions is Philadelphia sports.  Maybe you follow the Twitter accounts of the Phillies, Eagles, and Sixers.  You may also follow a variety of other Philly sports related teams and writers. You can easily create a list titled Philly Sports, and you can assign each of these accounts into the list.  That way, when you are itching for Philly sports news, you can click on this list to instantly see Tweets about Philly sports.  You can create a list for anything, and as long as you place relevant Tweeters into the respective list – the list will become a great source of real time news and information about the particular subject.

It is easy to see the lists that a Twitter user has created along with which accounts are on the respective list. If you visit http://Twitter.com/username/lists (replace username with the Twitter account you are interested in), you will see the list names created by that particular user along with the Twitter users which are followed by each respective list.

You can of course follow other people’s lists so that you can easily see Tweets from the people on the list that the respective user has created. 

Getting listed is another metric one can track.  Anyone can have a lot of followers, however getting listed can demonstrate a particular expertise of a given user.   When you visit a users Twitter page, you can click on listed to see the titles of the lists which that Twitter user is listed for.

We know that Ashton Kutcher and CNN famously raced to see who would be the first to 1 million followers.  Maybe one day, 5 years from now, as Twitter keeps growing, there will be a race to see who can be the first Twitter user to be listed one million times.

For more info, the Twitter help centre has published a great overview on How to Use Lists.

You can follow me on Twitter at elbst23