Twitter readies Lists feature for launch

Twitter is in the process of expanding the lists feature from a limited group of testers to the Twitter community at large.

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At the beginning of the month, we reported that Twitter was testing a functionality called Lists, which project lead Nick Kallen said would help users “curate” collections of their favorite tweeters. (For instance, you might create a list of your favorite comic book bloggers, or a list of your favorite sports analysts.)

Today, Twitter announced that Lists would be pushed out of private testing and into the public eye. "From the @time list of funny people to your own list of people who make you laugh — it's easy to see how this feature increases discovery and adds value in lots of way," Twitter founder Biz Stone wrote in a post on the official company blog.

Among the examples Stone cited:

Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?
@Bettydraper/rolodex: A collection of fan-created Mad Men characters
@NYTimes/staff: The colorful people behind The Gray Lady
@BBC/radio1-1xtra: Turns out BBC radio hosts are a chatty bunch
@jayrosen/mindcasters: A list of the some of the best new media thinkers by an NYU professor

The lists function could help improve Twitter's usefulness as a search tool. Let's say you're looking for the latest in new media news. You could use the search bar on Twitter – or you could comb through Jay Rosen's list of the most influential new media thinkers.

Already, many tech bloggers are embracing the new Twitter functionality. Over at PC World, Brian Heater praises Lists as a welcome enhancement to the Twitter experience:

Like most things that Twitter does, Lists are elegant in their simplicity. Users essentially round up a select group of fellow tweeters and put them on their own landing page (complete with a vanity URL). The content of Lists is entirely up to the creator—there's no opt-in function.

No word on when Twitter expects to have a complete roll-out finished. You'll know more when we know more.

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