Twitter Loosens Restrictions On Lists

6 June 2013

Marketing Land:

Twitter has announced a two-fold expansion of its seemingly ignored Lists feature, and the upgrades feature significant expansions of Lists’ previous limitations.

Users can now make up to 1,000 lists, instead of 20. And each list can have as many as 5,000 accounts in it, an upgrade from the previous limit of 500.

Lists are a nice concept, but breaks down in real-world use.1 The problem is that people talk about more than one thing on Twitter. This means that a list of “tech bloggers” isn’t a list of people only talking about technology, but a list of people who have the same career path talking about anything they please.

A good example is Scoble’s list of programmers. The usefulness of this list is negligible, because programmers frequently talk about non-programming topics, which dirties a stream that is intended to have only one focus.

The only times when Lists do have significance is during the occasional moments when everyone in a social sphere is talking about the same thing, usually motivated by particularly shocking breaking news or industry press conference.

1 Although this piece doesn’t cover it, also remember that nobody wants to maintain a list in the first place. It’s dull work to manage a list, so naturally nobody bothers, resulting in stagnation.