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Twitter adds social-grouping feature called Lists

September 30, 2009 |  4:54 pm

Twitter-lists

Twitter is testing a new feature today called Lists, which allows users to subscribe to and share groups of friends.

Months ago, Facebook added a similar grouping feature, also called Lists, but each user is required to customize his or her own list on the social network. That created a barrier for lazy folks, who refused to wade through and categorize friends.

The ability to subscribe to your Twitter buddies' lists means you can check in on groups of users without actually following them. In the test version, tweets from users on a list you follow don't show up in your main stream, but rather in a separate list stream.

The test feature, which Twitter Inc. wrote is only available to a small group of users for now, isn't 100% functional yet. We could subscribe to and create new lists, but we couldn't add users to those lists.

This small roll-out comes the day after we wrote about the recent Twitter uprising of sorts against the Suggested Users list -- the master scroll that's shown to all new users. Those frustrations prompted bloggers Robert Scoble and Salon's Kathy Riordan to create lists of their own.

Scoble asserted in a phone call early this morning that the Suggested Users list is a Pandora's box that has dramatically transformed the service.

Last we heard, though, Twitter intends to eventually update the Suggested Users, which its co-founders say was added to point newbies to well-known accounts, with more robust technology. Maybe this crowd-sourced-list feature is a step toward that.

-- Mark Milian

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