We were hoping Twitter would announce some improved functionality for lists at its event today, which it did not, but we did find out about this new third-party Twitter app.
One of the things Twitter founders emphasized today was that it's okay to use Twitter to passively consume content, which is where lists become really useful. Lists have become crucial to avoid missing important tweets and extracting the most interesting information from your stream. Formulists lets you automate the labor-intensive process of list curation.
Formulists will launch in public beta on Monday. The app provides algorithms for generating automatically-updated Twitter lists that self-populate daily. Use Formulists to build a list of people like you, the most-followed users among the people you follow, the people your friends talk to most and people who are similar to a user you enjoy.
The lists are self-updating. A list of People-Who-Retweeted-Me will automatically add anyone who retweets you; People-Who-Listed-Me will update with people who add you to a list.
You can also use Formulists lists to track unfollowers, filter your timeline and discover cool groups of Twitter people directly from Twitter.com or your Twitter client.
The one feature that's still missing is the ability to host more than the 20 allotted by Twitter. Formulists says it gets this request a lot and it's "trying to look into some possible solutions." But Formulists saves your old lists, so you can preserve a Formulists-created list even after deleting it on Twitter. The old list stays on the Formulists website and can be "reactivated" at any time, presenting a potential workaround: cycle your lists, re-activating old ones as you need to read them.
Formulists looks like a nifty app that has even more relevance as Twitter positions itself as a consumption tool. We're still crossing our fingers for the extra lists, though.