Major New Twitter Feature: Create Multiple Custom Timelines

Twitter has introduced the ability to create custom timelines.

Now you can organize tweets into differentiated timeline buckets based on, say, an event or a topic. You name the timeline, and choose the tweets you want to add to it – by hand or programmatically using the API.

The difference between a custom timeline and a Twitter list is that you can tailor and craft the content to your liking, adding or removing tweets a la carte.

Each custom timeline is public, has its own page on so you can easily share it, and is even embeddable on any website.

The catch is here that you have to create, add to and share custom timelines from TweetDeck.

TweetDeck has always let its users customize their content columns, whether they want to keep track of a private list of competitor Twitter accounts, follow a single hashtag, or stay attuned to breaking news surrounding one event.

Now, Twitter has made those customizable columns into actual Twitter timelines that can be published elsewhere.

Want to follow other users’ new custom timelines? Access them for any user from their profile in TweetDeck, and add a column for any custom timeline in TweetDeck to follow it live.

Brian Ellin, Twitter product manager, wrote in a blog post announcing the Spotify-esque new functionality,

“Whether you want to collect the best Tweets about a TV show or help people find the latest information about fast-moving real-time situations, custom timelines let you give everyone a place to follow along.”

In tandem with the custom timelines, Twitter has also rolled out the custom timelines API beta. It’s currently being used by partners like Politico, but Twitter’s open to accepting new requests.

Additional current, live examples of the custom timelines include:

Carson Daly created a custom timeline to be a live companion to The Voice’s competition. [Note the “/timelines” in the URL, which may mean Twitter will consider adding Timelines to user’s profiles.]

– Twitter #music has created a variety of new timelines: Music Superstars, songs with in-tweet tracks, and music Vines.

Twitter says it will be rolling out the new feature to all TweetDeck users over the next few days.

Are custom timelines something you’d want to experiment with? What would you use them for?