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Twitter rolling out Twitter Lists feature

Twitter Lists helps users chat with purpose

Twitter is in the midst of an ongoing rollout of its new Lists feature designed to let users better tune their Twitter feed to hone in on the information they want.

The social network first announced Twitter Lists earlier this month and began rolling it a beta version out to users this week.

Nick Kallen, manager of Twitter's Lists project, has been keeping users up to date about the progress of the rollout via updates on his Twitter page.

See also: 8 great free Twitter apps

The rollout did hit a brief glitch yesterday when Twitter engineers disabled the feature for 30 minutes to 60 minutes for trouble shooting and then brought it back online.

"Alright Lists are back on. Lists are not the cause of the issue, apparently. BTW, currently 50% of all users have Lists," wrote Kallen yesterday.

The new feature is designed to make it easier for users to group the people they follow by organising them into lists. The Lists, for instance, could organise the people you follow into groups of friends, colleagues, industry luminaries and celebrities.

While the lists can be made private, they're public by default, allowing other users to subscribe to any of your lists that they're interested in.

"This is a definite improvement," said Ezra Gottheil, an analyst at Technology Business Research Inc. "It's a step toward topic-oriented Twittering, which is what I want. Based on why I follow people, I can check in on Apple chatter, or social media chatter, or my old colleague's chatter."

Gottheil said he's looking forward to getting the List ability so he can start organising the people and topics that he follows.

"This effectively lets each person follow more people. It lets me "tune" my twitter feed," he said, adding that instead of being flooded with tweets from everyone he follows, he can hone in on the information he's looking for at a specific time by focusing in on a particular group.

Earlier this month, Twitter tested Lists with a small group of users test the feature but started rolling it out to an increasingly larger group this week.

Twitter has been abuzz with users talking about getting the new feature or venting their frustrations that they haven't received the ability yet.

"I have Twitter lists now... what do I do with them?" asked one user. "Why the heck do I not have Twitter Lists yet?! *stamps foot," wrote another.

And another Twitterer is just waiting for the chance to start using it: "Its gonna take me some time (at night) to build out twitter lists, but the value is definitely there."


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