Using Twitter Lists is a great new way to follow groups of people at once. Anyone can create Twitter Lists, share them, and follow any public Lists created by others. You can also create private Lists that nobody else can see or follow.
Let’s see how you can make use of this exciting new Twitter feature!
Popular Twitter clients like TweetDeck and Seesmic have supported creating Groups of users. However, these Groups were specific to the client and could not be transferred if you changed your client. Lists are the “official” Twitter Groups, meaning that once you create a Twitter List, you will be able to follow it from any client that supports Twitter Lists. Almost all the Twitter clients will eventually support Twitter Lists, with Seesmic Beta and Brizzly already doing so.
The advantages of using Twitter Lists are:
- Ability to follow specific people more closely
- Ability to follow a set of brands, blogs, companies, or news sources
- Ability to follow types of people like tech bloggers, celebrities, sport teams, politicians
- If you simply follow Lists created by others, you don’t need to maintain and update the List yourself
In this article, we will see how you can create and follow Twitter Lists using Twitter’s web interface.
Create a List
It is simple to create a list. On the Twitter homepage, you will see a Lists section below the search box, with a New List link. Clicking it brings up the Create a new list dialog.
Specify a name for the list, which will used for creating the list URL. If you use spaces in the name, they are converted to dashes. So a list named “my good friends” gets a URL of twitter.com/yourname/my-good-friends.
Public lists are visible to everyone and anyone can follow them. Private lists you create are only visible to you, and not even visible to the members of the list. Once you click the Create list button, you have created an empty list. Next step is to add members to the list.
There are multiple ways in which you can add people to a list. Once you create a list, Twitter shows you a Find People search box to add people to your newly created list.
Alternatively, you can add people to a list from their Twitter profile page. All Twitter profile pages now include a Lists button that you can use to add or remove people from a list.
Another way is to add people to a list from your own or anyone else’s Following or Followers pages. Each user in the list of following or followers has a Lists button that you can use as shown below.
As you can see, you can also use any of the above 3 ways to create a new list and add the corresponding user at once. In the same way as adding people, you can also use any of the 3 ways to remove people from a list. On the list page, you can Edit or Delete a list from the links at the top right.
Follow a List
Suppose you want to follow all the MakeUseOf writers on Twitter. On the MakeUseOf Twitter profile page, you will see @MakeUseOf/staff under the Lists section on the right. Clicking it takes you to the @MakeUseOf/staff List page.
From here, click Follow this list to follow the list – simple!
Once you start following a list, you will see a link to it in the Lists section on the right on your Twitter home page. Click on it to see the tweets from members of that list. As in the above screenshot, you can see how many people a list follows and how many people follow the list.
Discover Cool Lists
The best place to discover cool lists is Listorious, a third-party website that tracks popular lists.
You can find the most popular Twitter Lists on different subject areas. Lists are categorized using tags into sections like News, Art, Sports, Politics, Humor, Health, etc. Of course, if you have friends on Twitter, you can always see which lists they are following as well.
Are you excited about this new Twitter feature? Share your favorite lists with us in the comments and don’t forget to follow the MakeUseOf staff list!