Twitter Lists

There's much to say about Twitter's slow to roll out but much discussed Lists feature. I'm a fan of it, in short, for many reasons. Lists is a pretty simple idea – it lets anyone make and share a list of folks on Twitter. But it's also a powerful new…

Screen shot 2009-11-02 at 7.16.01 PM.pngThere’s much to say about Twitter’s slow to roll out but much discussed Lists feature. I’m a fan of it, in short, for many reasons. Lists is a pretty simple idea – it lets anyone make and share a list of folks on Twitter. But it’s also a powerful new signal that will help Twitter solve two of its most vexing problems – first, that of discovery, and second, that of authority. Not to mention it gives everyone a chance to add value above the level of a single “follower”, more on that later.

In short, if done right, Lists will provide the Twitter ecosystem a third dimension that might just propel it beyond the hype curve and into a long term platform play. Combined (intelligently) with the new traffic coming from Google and Bing, and this could mean Very Big Things for  Twitter.

All this bears further discussion. And I promise to to that, soon. I just wanted to leave a note here that I think this is important, and hopefully, when I stop traveling and start thinking a bit more, I’ll dig in here.

Author: John Battelle

A founder of NewCo (current CEO), sovrn (Chair), Federated Media, Web 2 Summit, The Industry Standard, Wired. Author, investor, board member (Acxiom, Sovrn, NewCo), bike rider, yoga practitioner.

8 thoughts on “Twitter Lists”

  1. Thanks for flagging your core views on Twitter Lists – useful to hear your views even with a short post and will look forward to more depth.

    As I’ve been looking at Lists and thinking about what they mean for our small business platform, my mind chained back to a post that you made a couple of months ago about all business starting with community – http://bit.ly/14DMhC.

    Take a look at the picture that you included in that post. I think that one of the cool potential uses of Lists by small businesses surrounds the online instantiation of their recommendations of other people and businesses in their community. As long as it’s kept authentic, it could be very powerful indeed.

  2. “Authority” has created havoc in Web search and if social media begins to formalize it then “authority” will create havoc in social media.

    We do need to be able to ascertain authority but the value of authority is diminished the moment any mechanism for creating it is implemented.

    That is why Google’s search results are filled with spammy crap today. Twitter is already struggling with a mountainslide of new spam techniques. The lists feature will probably make that problem worse.

    I cannot see any real value or use in the lists (and I note that I have been included in several).

  3. @gametrender Good post, is it possible to update it as you are always a renowned authority with some good insights it will be nice to see an updated analysis.

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