Twitter’s ‘Lists’ are a handy little feature that even some of the best and most popular Twitter users simply don’t make the most of. Simply put, they are a way of categorising Twitter accounts. When viewing the list, you’ll be able to see the tweets of anyone in the list - only people in the list. First we’ll review some of the benefits and then go into more detail about how to use Lists.
1. You’ll cut down clutter and save a lot of time
As anyone with a pretty active account will agree, the number of people you follow can jump up pretty quickly. It’s not long before you’re left flicking through a newsfeed full of tweets you just aren’t that interested in. What if you don’t want to unfollow anyone? You followed everyone for a reason, right?
Twitter Lists lets you immediately go to what you’re interested in and what you want. Simply add a few of your favourite news sources into a Twitter list, and you’ll have a ‘News’ list to flick through on your daily commute. Do you enjoy keeping up-to-date on what your old friends are up to? A ‘Friends’ list means you won’t have to spend time looking them all up individually.
2. Turn Twitter into a content farm
This is a more advanced benefit. Once you’ve become a regular Twitter user, you’ll notice that some accounts stand out to you above others. You may even develop some favourite accounts that you know always post great content.
Why not put them all into a list?
Keeping an active and interesting twitter account will be a less daunting task if you have a to-do resource that customises all your needs. You can check this list regularly to make sure that you’ve got the most up-to-date and interesting content on your Twitter page. If they’re really great accounts, you can use them to farm inspiration for your own content or material for a different platform like a blog.
3. Track your competition without having to follow them
The best-kept secret about Twitter Lists is a simple and effective one. You don’t have to be following someone to add them to a list. Lists give us an effective, quick and simple way to review your competitors without them ever knowing.
So long as the list is kept private, they’ll never know you’re looking. But beware; this feature means that anyone could easily be doing the same to you. Stay on top of your game and always tweet to impress!
How to use them
The easiest way to access your Lists is by clicking the gear icon in the top-right of your Twitter screen:
When you click Lists, you will be directed to your Lists screen. This will show you all the Lists that you currently have and the number of people in them. If the list name has a little padlock next to it, this means it’s private. You can also see other individuals’ lists that you’ve followed and lists that you’re a member of:
However, you won’t be informed you’re in someone else’s list if it’s private. You can subscribe to the lists of other users by going onto their Twitter profile and clicking ‘More’, then ‘Lists’.
Next up is adding people to your list. Start off by searching for them with the bar in the top right. Once you’ve searched your term, click ‘People’ on the left. This isn’t essential; it just makes sure that your search results are just accounts rather than tweets and pictures too.
Click on the gear icon next to the ‘Follow’ button to bring up a drop-down menu. Click ‘Add or remove from Lists’. This window will then appear:
Tick the box that corresponds to the list you want the desired account added to, and it’s done. You can add an account to as many lists as you like. Once your list has some accounts in it, you can go back to your Lists menu and click on the account you want to view.
Et voilà! You've created your very own customised Twitter feed!
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