lists feature to a larger number of users late last night. With these new lists, Twitter users can now organize their friends into groups. By default, these lists are private, but one of the most interesting aspects of this new feature is that users can also make their lists public - something many Twitter users have been looking forward to for a long time.Twitter rolled out a limited beta of its new
Third-party Twitter clients and tools like TweepML, TweetDeck, Brizzly, Nambu and others all offer their own implementation of this feature, though Twitter also gave early API access to this feature to a number of third-party developers.
Currently, adding friends to a list is still a bit cumbersome and either involves a lot of clicks from a user's profile page or a visit to the 'following' page. The list of users you follow, however, is organized in chronological order, so finding users on this list is quite hard.
One interesting aspect of this feature is that a user's profile will now also show a section that highlights the public lists a user was added to. This could have some interesting social ramifications. After all, Twitter's emphasis on follower counts has already created a bit of a popularity contest and now being part of a certain list that is being curated by the right person could add yet another dimension to this issue.
Of course, these new lists will open up avenues for a new products as well. Third-party tools, for example, can now look at the public lists and maybe create new algorithms to rank a user's authority on Twitter.
Of course, these are still the early days for Twitter lists, but hopefully we will also soon see a feature in third-party clients like TweetDeck that will allow users to export their existing lists or import their new lists from Twitter. Chances are that this is just a matter of time and this will probably be a default option in third-party clients once Twitter rolls this feature out to the majority of its users.