Twitter to Launch Twitter Lists

Posted on October 1, 2009

Twitter blogged yesterday that it will soon add a feature called Lists. The lists could be a game changer and help end the comfy ride those on Twitter's Suggested Users List (SUL) have enjoyed for far too long. There will probably be attempts to game it and lots of "please add me to your list" tweets. There is some risk with this feature because if people can follow everyone on a list all at once then they are more likely to follow a list that includes a malware spammer. Twitter could also create a public database showing Twitter accounts that are included in the most lists. Twitter's API will probably allow developers to do something like this.

The following aspect is interesting but the real value in the lists is not so much in following but in allowing Twitter users to segment their Twitter followers, and allow them to track tweets by self-chosen categories such as news, business, family, friends, etc. The lists are public by default but there will likely be lots of private lists. Hopefully, Twitter never has an error that lets people see someone's private "Frenemies" list.

The lists should increase following on Twitter, which is one of the reasons Twitter created the SUL in the first place. Most Twitter users don't follow very many other people and these lists should help. If the Twitter Lists make it easy for people to track by groups or categories that help them then it may also increase the amount of time people spend on Twitter.

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