How Do You Use Twitter Lists?

Alyssa Gregory

Last November, Twitter released a big feature: Lists. This was a much-anticipated release because it gave users — especially those not using a Twitter client — a way to sort and group people.As a refresher, here are some details about Twitter Lists:

  • Each List is currently limited to 500 people.
  • Each user can create a maximum of 20 Lists.
  • You can create public or private Lists.
  • List names cannot begin with a numerical character.
  • You can add people to Lists without following them.
  • You can add followers to multiple Lists.
  • You can remove yourself from a List by blocking its owner.
  • You can mention any Twitter List as you would any Twitter user, just add a forward slash “/” followed by the list name to list owners username: @<username>/<listname>.

How To Use Twitter Lists

Twitter Lists were a bit slow to take off, mainly because they aren’t exactly intuitive to use. The biggest confusion comes from what it actually means to follow a List (you follow a List as a whole and not the individual people on a List). But it’s certainly picked up momentum, especially with Twitter clients like HootSuite and Tweetdeck integrating Lists into their setup.Now that lists are several months old, they have taken off in a big way and, like Twitter itself, people are finding their own creative ways to use Lists. Here are some of most popular ways Twitter users are using Lists:

  • To recommend other users to follow
  • To screen people you are considering following
  • To keep an eye on tweets of people you don’t want to follow
  • To watch what your competitors are doing
  • To make your Twitterstream more manageable when you follow a lot of people
  • To be recognized as an expert in a specific area
  • To see how other people categorize you
  • To keep up with your favorite blog feeds
  • To track people in an organization, at a company or in an industry
  • To make yourself targetable
  • To discover what people find more useful from your tweets
  • To keep track of conferences and other events real-time
  • To watch the activity of clients and prospects
  • To boost SEO
  • To measure your “Twitter popularity”
  • To feed news/tweets on a specific topic to your website, blog, etc.
  • To conduct market research
  • To create and manage a directory
  • To find, watch and explore a niche
  • To keep track of industry news
  • To meet local people on Twitter
  • To get ideas from peers and colleagues
  • To communicate with family

As you can see just from this list, there are so many ways to use Lists in your social networking activities. But what’s missing? How do you use Twitter Lists?

tip:More on Twitter Lists

Check out this post about tools for using Twitter Lists to help you use Twitter Lists even more.