The Idiot’s Guide To Twitter Lists

Twitter List is a curated group of Twitter users. You can create your own lists or subscribe to public lists created by others. JustUnfollow tech team member, @SameerMhatreT, discusses the what, why and how of this awesome feature.

It is easy for Twitter timelines to grow clustered. You don’t have the heart to unfollow people and at the same time can’t find their tweets interesting enough. To fish the interesting tweets and tweeps out of the cluster, Twitter lists are an excellent alternative. Once you add people or businesses to a list, you will only be seeing tweets from the users on that list through the list timeline.

Why Should You Use Twitter Lists?

There are many reasons for creating lists. Here are some of them:

  • Create a group - If tweets/updates from some people and businesses are important for you, then you can group them together. You can create many lists based on anything you want. For example you can create lists named “family” and “business”. You can then add Twitter users belongs to your family to the “family” list and business Twitter users to your “business” list.
  • Recommend cool people - Twitters lists are a great way to create lists of cool people you want to recommend others to follow. Anyone else can visit that list and follow the people on it or follow the list. But, for this, you have to make sure that the list created must be a public list.
  • Follow people you aren’t actually following - You don’t want your following numbers to go up or Twitter has restricted your followers – lists are the way out. For example, if you want to follow updates from some celebrities but you don’t want to follow them, then you can create a list named ‘Celebrities’ and add those users to the list. After this the ‘Celebrities’ list timeline will show all the tweets from the celebrities you added to the list. How cool is that?

If you have any other reasons for creating Twitter lists, share with us in the comment box.

To Create A List:
Creating a list is very simple. You need to go to the Lists page. This can be done via dropdown from the top right menu or simply go to your profile page and select Lists from the left menu.

Click on the Create List button. You need to provide name (not more than 25 characters and should not start with a number) of your list, short description of your list and select list type as private (only accessible to you) or public ( anyone can access/subscribe to). Save your list. You are done.

P.S. You can not add yourself or a user who has blocked you to a list

P.P.S. You can create maximum of 20 lists per account.

To Add/Remove People From The List
Every twitter profile page provides ‘Add or remove from lists” option in the dropdown next to the follow/unfollow button. By choosing this you get a popup showing your twitter lists. You need to select lists to add or remove that user from that list. You don’t need to be following a user to add them to your list.

To See The Lists That You Are On
It might be possible that you are on others’ lists. If you want to see those lists then you need to click on ‘Member of’ on your List page. This will show you the lists you are on. If you are on others’ list then you are not less than a celebrity! Because this means that someone actually likes your tweets and wants to follow you closely.

To Remove Yourself From A List:
This is very important and very few people know about this. If you want to remove yourself from a list, then you need to block the creator of the list.

To know more about Twitter lists, visit

So, it’s very easy to create Twitter lists. But as the list grows, it may get difficult to follow updates from every lists. To check updates from the list, you have to visit every list’s individual timeline on Twitter, which is very cumbersome.

GrabInbox To The Rescue
There is a tool which helps you to manage your lists. In fact, it is a complete timeline management app. The name of the tool is Grabinbox. The best feature in Grabinbox is notification. It notifies you about your timeline, lists, mentions, direct messages etc. Whenever there are new updates in any of these timelines, the app notifies you. Clicking on the notification will load the timeline. There is a clear separation between old and new updates, i.e. the tweets you’ve seen versus ones you haven’t seen yet.

Grabinbox supports Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. Sign up in Grabinbox and check it out.

Sameer does a lot of stuff at JustUnfollow – all technical (except for this blog post, of course :)). If you like this post, share it using the social sharing options on the left – you’ll make him very happy.

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  • Nitin Tripathi

    why only grabinbox i think there are a list of other tools too like , hootsuite and webfluenze. i think all these tools are equally competent and worth a try.

    • Urooj Kazi

      True, true. Sameer developed Grabinbox, so he’s bound to be biased. :)