Use Twitter Lists

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Updated January 28, 2020

There’s very little transparency from Twitter regarding exactly how the algorithmic (where you see the top tweets) or chronological (where you see the most recent tweets) timelines on Twitter work. However, if you follow a lot of people, you’re bound to miss tweets from a number of them.

Twitter lists are an underused but powerful way to dip in and out of different Twitter universes (“#cypherpunks,” “#keto,” “#mindfulness”) while maintaining a fairly uncluttered feed. Create new Twitter lists, or follow existing ones, so you can stay up to date with a number of people without directly visiting their pages.

​confusion​ Twitter lists are distinct from the list of people you follow. Tweets from the people on the lists you follow will not show up in your timeline unless you actually follow them.

How to use Twitter lists.

Follow Public Lists

Many interesting people create and maintain Twitter lists that you can follow and subscribe to, which can help you find new people to follow or engage with. These lists may contain people the list creator finds interesting or occupy a certain field or area of interest they want to monitor. Here are examples of lists you can follow if relevant to your professional or personal interests:

Create Public Lists

You can also create your own public lists. This will serve to congregate interesting groups of people together so you can follow their musings closely. Creating a collection of thematically-aligned individuals will also help you see common threads and observable trends. You’ll start to notice patterns like the blogs certain people curate information from, the podcasts they listen to, and crucial details like where there may be disagreements in an industry. Creating public lists also serves as curation for others. You may find people subscribing to your lists—and then following you—because they’re interested in the same kind of content as you.

Create Private Lists

If you’re wary of creating a public list, private lists are also an option. These can be helpful if you want to privately track individuals or entities without following them. For instance, you can use private lists to track competing companies and their leadership teams. Alternately, you can use private lists to track politicians and controversial figures without making that known or letting their tweets interfere with your timeline.

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