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:
@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
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.
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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