Twitter Rolls Out Lists Beta

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Twitter has this week made live a beta of Twitter Lists, a new feature to let users organise their contacts into various groups

Twitter users now have the ability to organise their contacts into various groups, after the beta of Twitter Lists went live this week.

While it is fairly self-explanatory to seasoned web services users, Twitter doesn’t explicitly provide step-by-step instructions on how to create and manage lists on its website. Since the Lists feature was opened, we have decided to share a quick lesson on how to create a list.

First off, sign in to Twitter and if you see this message when you go to your Twitter homepage, you’re ready to use it: “New! Lists. A great way to organize the people you follow and discover new and interesting accounts. (BETA)”

Click the “create a list” button and type in the name of a list you want to use to group friends, colleagues, family, etc. Select whether to make the list public for any Twitter user to read, or private to create your own little walled garden of contacts.

Twitter will then ask you to type in the names of people you want to add, but it’s much easier to add people from your Following page or their profile page. Click on someone’s profile, click the lists drop-down menu, then check the box of the list you want to lump a user in. All done!

If you want to see where you’re listed publicly, go to your profile page and you’ll see a section for lists in your following/followers timeline. It’s called “listed” (no surprise there).

Click on it to see who has listed you. Note that no one can play around with lists you’ve personally created under your account name. You may also edit and delete your lists at any time.

Search Engine Land provides the step-by-step picture lesson here.

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This feature rolled out to 25 percent of the tweeting population this week, but is popping up to more of the almost 60 million Twitter users, according to Twitter Lists technical lead Nick Kallen.

What’s good about Lists? TechCrunch noted: that once somebody makes a good list, other people can follow that entire list, which makes it much easier to get started on Twitter.”

While Lists is a fine fix to solve that problem, it will be interesting to see what sort of negative fall-out there might be from this. Will friends begin to exclude friends, throwing up boundaries in Twitter where previously there were virtually none?

Lists could also cramp the serendipity factor on Twitter. Users may elect to spend their whole time in Lists rather than venturing out to follow and meet new contacts on Twitter. Is Twitter going the route of Facebook?

It’s hard to say. In the meantime, let’s list away.


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