Twitter Lists Explained: How to Use Twitter Lists Effectively

Do you find yourself spending more time on Twitter than you would like? Do you know how you may save your time on Twitter? Powerful Twitter Lists! I will share in the blog post how to use Twitter lists effectively.

I have been putting people on Twitter lists for years now as it saves me valuable time while on Twitter.

So, I had built up quite a following on my own Twitter account for 13 years.  When I want to see what is on Twitter, it has become difficult to find my focus when on my main Twitter feed.

That is especially true today with everything going on in the world. You can easily get pulled away from the tasks at hand and get sidetracked quickly!

Twitter Lists Explained To Help You Stay Focused on Twitter

When I teach people how to use Twitter I always recommend they start out using lists. It can seem overwhelming to them at first but in the long run, it will save YOU valuable time on Twitter.

Twitter lists explained

It can seem overwhelming to them at first but in the long run it will save YOU valuable time on Twitter. #Twitterlists Click To Tweet

How to Use Twitter Lists Effectively

It took me years to learn this Twitter tip. When something is happening locally I now follow my local folk’s list. This is great during weather events or any other type of local news story that is breaking. Of course, I have a weather list to follow now for weather events locally.

I also have a list for SEO and when there is talk of a new Google update I’m there using that list to follow the latest SEO news. I use another list for customers of mine in Real Estate.

This helps me keep up with their world and what’s happening in the real estate world. I have a total of 282 lists, some of which I subscribed to or am a member of.

Notice below the new look of lists! Now you can pin your top 5 lists to the top of your list page for easy access. This will help with using Twitter lists more efficiently.  

new look of your twitter lists


It’s fun to get creative with lists. I also tell people to have fun on Twitter so that they use it often. Find your interests and start creating those lists to save YOURSELF some time. 🙂

Not only that but you will stay focused on the business at hand on Twitter with your lists. No more getting pulled into other topics on this social network.

Public or Private Twitter Lists?

When you create lists and they are public everyone and anyone can see them. People will be notified they have been on a list which sometimes leads to them following you.

So if you do not want people to see a list of peeps you create, then make the Twitter list private. I do that for customers, non-related categories to my niche, and other interesting accounts. It is similar to having a private Instagram close friends list.

So if you do not want people to see a list of peeps you create, then make the Twitter list private. #Twitterlists Click To Tweet

Pin Your Twitter Lists Explained for Quick Access

Did you know you can now pin your top 5 lists? I’m loving this newer feature! No more going through a hundred lists to see what they look like on a desktop. These pinned lists also work well on mobile.

pinned tweets and how to use twitter lists effectively

6 Ways To Use Lists Explained Now!

  1. Put all your favorite tweeps on lists, not just one but several lists if applicable. I have some people on awesome bloggers and friends.
  2. When you are in your Twitter stream, right-click on the lists, see which lists you have created, then click on the one you choose to read. This keeps you focused when on Twitter and saves you much-needed TIME. Otherwise, you could be on Twitter for hours on end. 🙁
  3. Subscribe to other lists that include you, it’s like following them on Twitter.
  4. You can add yourself to your lists too if you want to be included in a particular group. You must use Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to do this.
  5. Create a list for an event. If you are running an event or going to one, create a list. Great way to connect with others!
  6. Share your Twitter lists on the Twitter feed with your followers. 

Update Your Lists More Often

Recently, I’ve been updating my old Twitter lists. I wanted to follow bloggers as many older bloggers have left the blogging industry. My friend Ryan recently posted some ideas on how to find new bloggers.

But once I updated my Twitter list it become easier to find others through other bloggers. You can follow my Awesome Blogger list here.

Furthermore, the more often you update your lists the more relevant they will be to you and your time on this social network. It will save you time in the long run as well.

Also, you can easily delete old lists that are no longer applicable for you to use on Twitter. If you have been on this network for years your lists may contain folks that are no longer users or who have changed their profiles to reflect other interests, etc.

I have seen this a lot over the past year or so with bloggers who have turned into activists. 

Furthermore, the more often you update your lists the more relevant they will be to you and your time on this social network. #Twitterlists Click To Tweet

Adding Images to Your Lists

If you want to add images to your Twitter lists it is easier to do via mobile. You can use Canva to make your horizontal image. The sizes for Twitter list covers are 1500×500 pixels.

Moreover, having images for your favorite lists makes them easier to find and use. They also make it interesting for your followers to follow, etc. A picture tells a thousand words, right?

You can use an image resizer tool for the correct dimensions.

What Others Have to Say

Maximum Users for Twitter Lists

Remember, you can now have up to 1,000 lists, no more of the old 20! You can have up to 5,000 users on the lists too – no longer just 500 people.

Now, that’s a big improvement on Twitter lists! However, you can mention and reply to others on lists. You can also check out Twitter’s help center for more on lists. Twitter lists are a MUST today if you use Twitter to drive sales to your website!

Now, can you see yourself saving time with these lists on your Twitter account?

If you use Twitter lists in other ways I’d love to know in the comments below how many Twitter lists you currently have. I’d love to know if you have a clever way to use them.

Want to learn about tweetstorms? Check out the updated post here on using Tweetstorms. 

Learn more about how to clean up your Twitter inactive users too! 

buy the eBook on Amazon how to tweet and thrive on Twitter

Twitter List FAQ’s

What Are Twitter Lists?

Twitter Lists allow you to customize, organize and prioritize the Tweets you see in your timeline. (Instead of the main Twitter feed.)
You can choose to join Lists created by others on Twitter, or from your own lists.
However, you can choose to create Twitter lists of other accounts by group, topic, or interest.

How Many Twitter Lists Can You Have?

You may have up to 1,000 lists per account.

How Many Lists Can You Pin to Your Profile?

You can pin up to 5 lists per Twitter profile.

What is the Difference Between Public and Private Lists?

Public lists are searchable and can be seen by anyone. Private lists have none of that. They are for your use only; no one else can see them, even if they have the URL.
Private lists do not notify the user when they are added to the list, and they do not appear in search.

How to Find Twitter Lists:

In your Home timeline on Twitter for mobile, you may see a prompt to discover new lists. If Twitter suggests a list to you that’s of interest, simply tap Follow.
From the prompt, you can also tap show more to browse through their lists discovery page. Depending on your settings you may see tweets from your Twitter lists in the main feed as well.

How to Know if You Are Added to a List?

If the list is private you will NOT be notified. However, if it’s public you will be notified on Twitter that you were added to a list. Therefore, you can then follow it.

How to Create a Twitter List Effectively:

Click on Lists in your navigation, then create a new list icon and name your list. Your description cannot be over 25 characters. Then decide if it is a private or public list. You can then add a horizontal image to your list. Click next and begin adding people to your list.

Can You Remove Yourself From a List?

Yes, you will have to block the creator of the list. Click on the More icon next to the list icon to block them.

How Many People Can You Add to Your Lists?

You can add up to 5,000 peeps to your list.

  • Hey Lisa, it’s nice to read about this here.

    Would you believe I am yet to create a Twitter List since 2011?

    I have resolved though, after reading this lovely guide here to start mine but only when I study some of the cool ones out there – yours and those of other serious bloggers.

    By the way, I subscribe to two of your lists.


    • Lisa says:

      Hi Sam, No, I cannot believe that. Twitter lists keep me so organized there on Twitter and make me find things much quicker. Thanks for subscribing to my lists. I use my lists to share more tweets, find information, track storms and more. I can’t imagine not having them. Thanks for coming back Sam and have yourself a wonderful day!

  • Adrian Jock says:

    Hi Lisa, I’m back. Coz I have some answers regarding the “Member of” Twitter tab. Your account @Lisapatb is included in 688 lists and the account @InspireToThrive is included in 175 lists. According to TweetDeck. Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      Cool Adrian, thank you! I’ve got to try out Tweetdeck again, it’s been a while since I’ve used it. Enjoy the rest of your weekend there Adrian.

  • Adrian Jock says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I have a total of 282 lists, some of which I subscribed to or am a member of.

    282 (right now actually is 279, but maybe you have also 3 private lists) is the number of lists you’re subscribed to. The number of lists you’re member of is different and isn’t displayed by Twitter.

    You have created many lists and maybe that’s why you didn’t notice it. To see the difference, check my account. You’ll see… Lists: 5. If you check “Subscribed to” you’ll see five lists. If you check “Member of” you’ll see tons of lists – I’ve no idea how many they are.


    P.S. Shouldn’t you update the title? 3 => 5

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Adrian, wow, very close to mine of 281 🙂 Interesting on the number shown though on yours – only 5? I didn’t want to mess with my URL but excellent point. I know I could use a redirect for it. Thanks for coming by Adrian and explaining that one for us here. Have a great new week and month!

      • Adrian Jock says:

        Hi Lisa,

        The first part of your reply is weird. I guess something misled you. Maybe the quote from your own article posted right under “Hi Lisa” by using the blockquote HTML tag – that’s a quote from you, not a statement regarding my lists. So let me post some further clarifications…

        1) You’re wrong – The number of lists I’m subscribed to (=5) is not very close to the number of lists you’re subscribed to (279 according to what I see, 282 according to your article, 281 according to your comment) 🙂

        The number shown on my timeline (=5) is correct. It’s the number of lists I have created (and automatically subscribed to). I don’t need more. Actually 5 are too many for my needs.

        The number of lists I’m member of is different. As I said, Twitter doesn’t count them, so I don’t know how many they are – tons anyway. Twitter only list them in a separate tab (“Member of”) without mentioning how many they are.

        There are two tabs for lists – “Subscribed to” and “Member of” – and only one aggregate figure (“Lists”) The number displayed under LISTS isn’t the number you may expect (Subscribed to + Member of). That number is the number of lists you’re subscribed to.

        The point of my previous comment is to tell you that the claim from your article quoted in my previous comment is incorrect. Actually there are way more than 282 lists you’re subscribed to or member of 😉

        3) The PS from my previous comment doesn’t refer to the URL but to the title. Changing the URL may or may not be a good idea, but changing the title should be a must. Your visitors don’t read the URL. But they read the title of the article. And that title doesn’t fit the content of the article anymore.

        • Lisa says:

          Hi Adrian, I do see that, 5. Gotcha on the 282 count. So there is no way to know how many you are a member of or how many you actually have made? The only # we know is the # of lists we are subscribed to, correct? Oh yes, the title would be good to change, I agree with that one Adrian, thank you once again.

          • Adrian Jock says:

            I guess there are only two ways to find out how many lists you’re a member of:

            1) to count them (if they aren’t too many) or

            2) to use an app that gets access to your Twitter account and then counts the lists. I don’t know if such an app exists.

          • Lisa says:

            2 Great points Adrian, thanks. I’ll be on the lookout for an app though. Thanks!

  • Your 5 Must Have’s For Twitter ‹‹ Social Media Planning - Cirquedumot says:

    […] tweeps after your following grows – but starting adding people as you go (makes it easier). Twitter Lists allows you up to 10 lists per account and I believe the number is 500 for each list. Some days I […]

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