On Twitter Lists and Twitter Influence

Posted on November 5, 2009

We have compiled a list of the 200+ most listed Twitter accounts. Listorious (now Muck Rack) created a list of the most followed lists on Twitter. Twitterholic has a list here of the most followed Twitter accounts. All three of these help measure how much influence a Twitter account has but none of them alone provide an accurate measure of a Twitterer's reach or influence.

Trying to measure how much reach or influence a given Twitter account has is an increasingly complex issue. You would need to factor in followers as well as the number of lists someone is on. In addition, specific lists will also be important because Listorious's list of the most followed lists shows that being on some lists gives Twitter users more influence than others. Twitter's list widgets allow lists to be embedded on webpages. Twitterers listed on lists that get embedded could get more exposure. There is also the issue of private lists which may not be added to a Twitterer's list total.

The list of the most listed Twitterers has Barack Obama way out in front which seems appropriate since he is the President. The list is heavily dominated by celebrities. There are few news or tech-related accounts on the list. In this way the list of the most listed Twitterers is very similar to the list of the most followed Twitterers. However, the highest ranked celebrities on the most listed list are different than those on the most followed list. Taylor Swift is ranked second on the most listed list but she is not (yet) one of the top 25 most followed accounts. Taylor Swift's high list ranking seems logical given that she was one of the biggest Twitter stories this year because of the Kanye West incident at the VMAs. A couple young Disney stars - Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez - also rank very highly on the most listed list yet they are much farther down on the most followed. This could indicate that many listmakers are very young but it is still way too early with lists to read much into this. The only obvious trend is that those who can be bothered enough to make lists love to put celebrities on them and that celebrities crush everyone else when it comes to getting put on lists. Listmakers also like humor - Shit My Dad Says is ranked fifth and The Onion is 20th.

When it comes to list of the top lists on Listorious what stands out is that very few lists are followed by many people. Only the Twitter Team list has a large follower number of over 37,000. This number is big because Twitter put a link to the list on every single Twitter user's homepage. The number actually seems kind of small considering ever single person on Twitter was given a chance to follow it. The fact that not many lists have very many followers could mean that people prefer to make their own lists. Lists may be more of a personal thing than a social thing. It could also mean that many users are not aware of Listorious or the fact that they can follow other people's lists. It's also possible that they simply could not be bothered. Again, it is too early to tell because lists are only about a week old. It takes time to make lists and many people still haven't had time to try them out.

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