Twitter recently rolled out a new feature called Twitter Lists. It's a way for individual users to curate lists of people based on, well, whatever they like. For instance, you could make a Twitter List of entrepreneurs in your city, your funniest friends, celebrities, et cetera.
This sounds like a simple feature. But I think it will fundamentally change Twitter for the better. Here's why: the social network has been experiencing serious problems over the last year as it's popularity and growth has exploded, specifically with spammers and marketers trying to "game" the following/follower system. There are tools, applications, tricks and scripts readily available that anyone can leverage to get tens of thousands of new followers overnight.
Twitter Lists, I believe, will return us to the Twitter we first fell in love with, reinforcing quality over quantity. For instance, if another user deems you list-worthy, that instantly carries more weight than a one-click "follow." Now, when you're screening new followers, you can check out how many lists they are on in addition to how many followers they have. As you know, 10,000 followers on Twitter today doesn't necessarily mean what it did in 2008.
Lists will be integrated with their API
, meaning that third-party applications like Tweetie, Tweetdeck and Hootsuite will be able to pull the data and push it into their services and products. There's already a Web site devoted to lists of lists, called Listorious
told me this weekend that he's advising clients to create lists of followers who are actively engaged with their updates. For instance, you may have 1,000 followers, but wouldn't it be nice to have a separate bucket for the 100 people who are frequently interacting with your business? Maybe this becomes a list of 100 V.I.P. customers over time.
How will you use Twitter Lists to your advantage? Please leave your thoughts below.