Do you use Twitter lists? You absolutely should – they are one of the most powerful ways to slice and dice the hundreds of millions of tweets sent per day into manageable, relevant segments. However, lists haven’t been updated in any significant way for years, and Twitter is missing out on a huge opportunity.
Businesses can use lists to listen in on conversations among their VIP customers, competitors, industry leaders… without having to sift through a cluttered timeline.
As they are, lists are powerful. But here are five ways that Twitter could take them to the next level.
1. Allow users to make lists of replies and retweets. Sometimes you don’t want to only view the tweets from the people you’ve listed – it might make more sense to see their conversations or interactions. So why not enable users to create lists of their replies or retweets? By focusing on only interactions, businesses could get a better sense of who their competitors are talking to most, what content gets retweeted within their industry and more.
2. Reposition Lists on Twitter.com. Right now, Twitter hides a user’s lists under the “More” tab on a user’s profile. And lists are the only item under the “More” tab. Why not move lists to a primary position beside “Favorites” and be rid of “More” altogether? Sure, Twitter might eventually add more features that would necessitate the additional menu space, but until then, this would encourage more users to click and browse others’ lists.
3. Enable retweet counts and make subscribers mean something. How can a business tell whether a list that someone else has created is any good? Right now, it’s tough. The number of subscribers could be an indication of a popular list, but this is an often-overlooked statistic. Instead, Twitter could track how many times a particular list has been retweeted, or they could make the subscriber number more prominent to indicate to potential new subscribers how useful others found that particular list.
4. Make lists social. Instead of a single user editing their own lists, Twitter could create a new product that is more social in nature, allowing multiple contributors in a wiki-style format. A list of “great local restaurants” for instance could be created by user A, and users B and C could be invited to collaborate with their own suggestions for new restaurants. Or, a master list could exist that anyone can add to or remove from based on a majority vote from other contributors.
5. Make lists more meaningful. Lists are similar to your Twitter timeline, in that if you don’t check in for a few days you’ll miss out on all of the conversation that happened. Twitter could provide daily or weekly updates about the most commonly-used keywords among members of a particular list, or the most-retweeted links. This would indicate what’s popular or discussion-worthy among the members of that list, and could provide insight into an industry, influencers or segment of users that would otherwise fly under the radar.
(List image via Shutterstock)