Friday, October 18, 2013
One often forgotten feature on Twitter that should be remembered is the ability to make lists. The list feature on Twitter is essentially a way to sort the people you follow into groups, and you can then view only the tweets from the people you’ve added to that list. This can be useful in a number of ways, both for personal use and business uses. Keep in mind that you cannot tweet to a list, only to all of your followers. The lists simply sort whose tweets you are reading at a given time.
Family and friends
When you create a list only for family and friends, it makes sense that you’ll use it to briefly see what they’re up to, and maybe to see where they are hanging out in case you want to meet up. You could also use the list to check in after an emergency.
Whether your work involves social media, or you just want to keep up with others in your field, having a list of business contacts makes sense. You can keep out the noise of non-career related tweets while you’re in a work environment, without losing your up to the moment edge on the information your colleagues and contacts are tweeting about. In addition, you can have your colleagues all follow a list of each other, which can be especially useful for working on a group project from separate locations.
Luckily, you can even create private lists, which no one but you can see. Use these to quietly keep your eye on what rivals are up to, or to sort out your slightly embarrassing need for celebrity news updates from all the best sources. Keep in mind, other users can block you, which will prevent you from seeing their tweets. You can stop others from adding you to their lists, but you’ll have to block them on an individual basis. Blocking a person will not only keep you off of their lists, but will keep them from following you.
Using lists will help you build more followers on Twitter and it will help you keep track of the people you follow.
What is the difference between public lists and private lists?
A public list is one that anyone can see, and anyone can follow your public lists. They cannot, however, add people to a list you created. You can also follow public lists created by other people, allowing you to follow a large number of people without actually following them on an individual basis.
A private list is one that no one can see, period. You can’t even give permissions for certain people to watch your private lists, and no one will be able to tell you’ve added them to a private list. Just don’t use a private list for stalking your exes, because that’s just not cool.
Although it may seem like a lot of extra work to setup lists on Twitter, it can really streamline your feed. You can opt to only see work related tweets while you’re on office hours, and only friends and family tweets when you’re off the clock. Want to catch up on the news real quick? Just pull up the list you made following your favorite news sites, and you’ll catch the latest without having to hunt through the rest.
Susie MacDowell is a huge fan of Twitter and loves helping others learn from the site. She also writes about other social media sites from time to time.