Twitter Lists Rolling Out More Broadly

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-10-16

Twitter Lists, that feature that lets Twitterers group fellow users together and share those with others, has begun rolling out to more users.

TechCrunch reports that setting up a list is easy, for those lucky enough to see it. The homepage includes a Lists banner with a "Create a new list" button. Then an overlay appears where users can type in the list name, which Twitter then converts into a permalink.

Users may set the list to be public or private. Users who do this will see a new "lists" area under their biography on the right hand column of their homepage. When users click on this, they will be whisked to their list overview page, where they may manage their lists and view fellow Twitterers' public lists that they are a part of.

Users' lists will also be available on user profile pages under the "Favorites" area in the right hand toolbar. Clicking on any of these lists will take users to a stream of the users followed by that list.

TechCrunch notes one early, obvious drawback: there is no user search functionality, so users have to either go to their "following" page, or to that person's profile to add them.

Twitter Lists seems destined to be one of those wildly popular features that will seem like it's always been there for people who use Twitter. Expect the digerati to embrace it and the masses of almost 60 million Twitterers will follow.

Meanwhile, Twitter Oct. 14 also reminded everyone that Twitter was originally conceived as a text-messaging service, by striking a deal with Bharti Airtel, the largest mobile operator in India.

This deal will enable users in India to send Twitter tweets at standard rates and receive tweets for free. Wrote Twitter Co-founder Biz Stone:

We have seen people use Twitter to help each other during fuel shortages, track the spread of wildfires, check in during earthquakes, organize major charitable events, spread urgent news efficiently around the world, and much more. In many of these scenarios, texting has been the key... We worked quickly to establish full SMS service in India with the largest operator because organic growth in the region has been unusually strong and there is huge potential for positive impact.

All of these exciting features come amid the big cash infusion Twitter received last month.

With Twitter Lists, geolocation services, language translation and partnerships with mobile operators coming to the fore, it's even more exciting to speculate what Twitter has in store for 2010.

One trend that should pick up steam in the new year will be the proliferation of startups like Assetize looking to piggyback on the Twitter machine.

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