On Twitter, when you find a number of people who are good sources of news or who post interesting and valuable information on specific topics, you can group them together in a “list.”
This allows you to isolate individual members’ posts from the general mass of tweets, which makes it easier to follow posts on subjects you care about—such as online marketing, social media, SEO, developments in your field, and what your competitors are doing and saying.
However, like many things on Twitter, how to create a list is neither apparent nor intuitive.
To create a list, locate your "List" tab on either your Home or Profile view. On your Profile view, it is on a menu line that includes Favorites, Following, Followers, and Lists. On your Home view, it is on a menu line that includes your Twitter name, Activities, Searches, and Lists.
To create a list, click on the List tab, which brings up a menu that contains three items: Create a List, Lists You Follow, and Lists Following You.
Click on Create a List to bring up a form that allows you to enter a list name, list description, and the option to make the list public or private.
To add a person to your list, click on that member's generic person icon with the downward pointing black triangle (Twitter calls it a “shadowy figure”), which is located just to the right of the Following or Not Following tab. A menu pops up that allows you to “Add to list.”
Click on “Add to list” and a “Your lists” menu appears. A list of your lists appears, and you can add a person to an existing list by checking it off.
You also have the option of creating a new list for that person. Click on “Create a list” and the menu appears to fill in a name, description, and public or private setting.
Your Lists tab will now contain all the lists you have created under “Lists by you.”
To remove a person from a list, click on the list, bring up that person, click on his or her profile picture, and the full profile will appear at the right. Click on the generic person icon, and when the menu appears, click on “Add to list.” In the box that appears for that list’s name, uncheck the person and he or she is removed.
Once you’ve created a list, you can edit its settings or delete the list by clicking the Edit and Delete icons. You can mention and link to a list in a tweet by preceding the name of the list with a forward slash (/).
Also be aware that Twitter has placed the following limitations on lists:
- 20 lists permitted per user
- 500 users permitted per list
- List names cannot exceed 25 characters
- List names cannot begin with a numerical character
As Twitter informs us, it is currently not possible to add yourself to a list. Also, there is no feature that enables users or list owners to send a message to every user on a list.