Twitter Lists are the new feature on Twitter (still in Beta) that allow you to organize particular Twitter users into lists and view only their Tweets. For example, you can create a list of inspirational Twitter users by following these easy steps:
How to Create a New Twitter List
During the beta period, you should see an announcement for Twitter lists at the top of your homepage. Click the “Create a New List” button.
Alternatively, you can click on the “New List” link in your sidebar, right above the Trending Topics section.
Choose a name for your Twitter list, and whether you would like it to be public (so that others can follow your list) or private (a list for only you to see). Choosing a public list will also let the Twitter members you add to that list know that they are being listed, whereas they will never know if they are in a private list.
Once you have set your list name and privacy, you can begin adding members to your list. You have the option to search for members based on their real name, username or brand on the following screen. You can add any Twitter user’s to your list, regardless of whether or not you are following them, with exception to user’s you are not following whose Tweets are private.
You can also add users by going to their profile and clicking on the Lists dropdown, then select the list you would like to add them to or create a new one.
Finding and Following Public Twitter Lists
On each Twitter user’s profile sidebar, you will see a “Listed” number next to their followers and following. Below those numbers on the sidebar, if the user has created any public lists, these will show up under the Lists heading.
Click on the Listed number to see the public lists that the user has been added to, and also the public lists that the user is following. If you click on a particular list, you will see the recent Tweets made by anyone the list is following. You can follow the list by clicking on the “Follow This List” button.
Pros and Cons of Twitter Lists
PRO: Twitter lists allow you to follow a personalized selection of Twitter members on particular topics. You could follow public lists about any topic without the use of other Twitter tools and software. And if a list on the topic you are interested in doesn’t exist, you can easily create your own customized list.
CON: Twitter members may notice a drop in following because they could being followed in lists, but not directly. For example, you could easily follow the tweets of the 20 top Twitter authorities on SEO in a list without actually following those 20 users. Some will consider this a major plus as it would help in the ratio of following to followers.
PRO: With Twitter lists, you get to learn why people are following you for by seeing where you have been listed. For example, people are adding @kikolani to lists on SEO, social media, blogging, WordPress, web development, dofollow and more.
CON: Some members with a high follower count who haven’t been listed could get discouraged by the fact that they have not been listed very often, or they have been listed in topics they are not focusing on.
PRO: Not being listed could prove to be a learning experience that you need to change the way you use Twitter to become more of an authority on your topic.
PRO: You can use Twitter lists to find the top authorities on a subject by looking at lists created or followed by power Twitter users.
PRO / CON: People could start going directly to their lists and not their main Twitter feed, thus missing any tweets from people they are following who haven’t been listed. While it is a great way to avoid spammers in your Twitter feed, it is also a way to miss some great tweets by people who aren’t in one of your lists.
Your Thoughts on Twitter Lists
Have you tried the Twitter List feature? What are your thoughts on the benefits vs. the downsides?