Saturday, November 5, 2011

List management on Twitter

Twitter gave us the ability to construct up to 20 lists of up to 500 members each. But it gave us no tools with which to view, update, prune, or otherwise manage, these lists, so that our lists get out of date rapidly. (Believe it or not, there's no way on Twitter to remove someone from the list if their account has been suspended or cancelled. And if you've unfollowed someone, or they've unfollowed you, they are still on your lists, which may or may not be your intention.)

Since Twitter leaves us in the lurch with these unwieldy lists, there should be internet applications and/or desktop applications which give us the ability to:

1. view each list in its entirety on a single page, including member's account name and avatar;

2. sort and/or filter by different variables, including (a) date of last tweet, (b) name, (c) date listed, (d) whether following you, and (e) whether followed by you; and

3. go down the list, select members by check boxes, and then (a) remove selected members and (b) move and copy selected members to another list.

I'm aware of no tools that do the above, and would appreciate your telling me, through the comment section, of any which may exist. I will update this post as new information, on software which appears workable, comes to my attention.

[My advice to the twitter API developers out there would be to concentrate, if feasible, on desktop applications which can save and store data on the user's hard drive, so that "API" calls would not have to be drawn upon except to upload the updates.]

These are the only list management tools I know of:

Refollow This follower management tool has added some list management functionality. You can pick out one of your twitter lists, load the entire list, review the list members seeing their icon, last tweet, and certain other information, remove list members in bulk, and add designated list members in bulk to another list or a new list. Indirectly it gives you the ability to move list members from one list to another, since you can add them to another list and then remove them from the list you're working with. What is more, you can filter the list members by certain variables -- e.g. find all members of a list who haven't tweeted at all in 90 days, all who have no icon, who you're not following, who's not following you, etc. Internet application. Has sortable lists and 'select' buttons for bulk operations on a list. These guys really "get" it, about what's needed to manage lists. h/t Liss (@lissnup)

Tweetfind's Twitter Lists Tool. This tool lets you view the membership of a list, in a serviceable manner, and provides checkboxes. So it's a start. However the only thing you can do with the checkboxes is to add the people to a list, which is the least useful function, since (a) they're already on a list, and (b) adding people to lists is the one thing twitter does enable us to do without too much trouble. And the view populates somewhat slowly, and does not show all the list members on a single page. The developers at Tweetfind seem to be pretty cool and responsive. It will be interesting to see if they can (a) improve the view (b) add functions to be invoked by the checkboxes such as remove, copy, transfer and (c) provide sorting and/or filtering. They're adding a "remove from this list" button, which is helpful, and you can tell -- from the presence of a "follow" or "unfollow" box -- whether each list member is or is not being followed by you, which is also quite helpful.

Tweetdeck. Multipurpose desktop twitter portal application. Enables you to "edit" a list, removing list members one by one, or to add non members one by one. It doesn't sort the lists, but does sort the non-list members alphabetically.

Listomatic. An internet application, its "manage" function assembles lists, collects members to be viewed from 20 to 100 at a time, allows easy removal from a list by double clicking the icon, on hover signals the following status of each list member. Does not have sorting. Slow to load. [a word of warning: if while using this you want to look at someone's profile on, when you come back you may have to wait for screen to repopulate to 100 members; best workaround --> try to open "in a new tab"] h/t Liss (@lissnup on Twitter)

Listorious. Internet application which does one thing brilliantly, and does nothing else: it provides a great view of the list on a single page, sorted by the number of followers each has. It shows the icon + the bio of each peep. It provides no ability to sort by any other variable, or to perform any operation at all. Caveat: it seems that Listorious updates the lists very very slowly, if at all. So if you make changes in your twitter list, I don't know how long it will take to get updated at Listorious. [update, Listorious seems to be going out of business; there seems to be little going on there] Website which enables you to check, on a one-by-one basis, whether a particular person is on a particular list.

mixero. A desktop application which provides some list management ability, such as the ability to remove people from lists. You need to go to the field for 'adding contacts' in order to delete contacts. It automatically sorts the list members alphabetically, so that's a plus.

formulists. Web site which falsely bills itself as being for "list management", but is really just for creating new lists. It doesn't help you manage your existing lists. I don't need a tool to help me create new lists.

(Here's a short URL for this post: )


  1. List-o-matic has a couple interesting features, not read the how to use section yet :)

  2. I found another list management site, has some sort functionality. List Manager

  3. I feel your pain. I'd like better list management, more lists, etc. Have you looked at I don't think any of them are quite there yet but TweetBe and Pitupasa seem to offer a few options.

  4. Agreed - list management on Twitter would make it a much better tool. And with our love for lists, list tools that help to organize lists sounds irresistible. Hope you find some tools so we can use them ;)

  5. Ray,
    Here is some feedback regarding existing tools that offer the features you are looking for:

    2. sort the list members by various variables, especially (a) date of last tweet and (b) alphabetical name;

    --> Check out

    4. discern following/followed status of each member;

    --> Check out or

    5. discern which accounts are inactive.

    --> Check out

    Hope this helps.


  6. Thanks Eva.
    I visited these sites, & couldn't find anything related to lists.

  7. Understood. This is related to followers/following not lists. However, I agree that these would be great tools to integrate into Twitter.

  8. Twitter list tools are slow because Twitter itself is slow when it comes to lists...

  9. Dear Anonymous (re slowness)

    1. Please in future supply us with a handle when you log in anonymously.

    2. I don't accept the slowness rationale because both Listorious and tlists are able to put the entire list on a single page, with both icon and bio displayed, without much page loading time. So there is a way to make internet twitter apps move.

  10. i have had the same dilemma. i had found a couple you mentioned, but now see some new ones. I am also quite frustrated with not being able to sort or see who follows back, etc. all in one place.

    i'd really like also, to be able to follow more people per list. i have several areas i am very interested in, and there is little overlap. (single parenting and NPO work for instance) and yet i follow up to 500 per list stream. many people are not so active, but when they are, i like their comments, so i do not want to eliminate them from the list.

    i wish there was an easier way to define better a list once it was made, be cause in my NPO list i have NPOs and Development and Technology and and some foundations... all related to NPO, but now i need to dissect the list and it's a lot of work. wish i had made a better plan in the beginning.

  11. Hi Ray

    Thank you for the mention.

    We have added some new tools and added a "Remove this user" on the Twitter List Tool.

    We have added some fixes(still working on the loading issue with big accounts)

    Keep the suggestions and comments coming. Thank you very much for your feedback.


  12. Awesome Ruben!!!

    I will update to reflect good news!!!

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. is very simple and effective.

  15. Dear Joel

    I tried it and it didn't work.

    It showed none of my 20 lists.

  16. also lets you add selected users from its search results into lists. It's a paid feature.

  17. Giri, my article isn't about creating lists; it's about managing existing lists. Having yet another way to add people to lists is not helpful towards managing existing lists.

  18. Have you had any luck with Twitter list management at all? I am especially interesting in checking my list of followers (and followees) to see which ones are on (or are not on) a list.

  19. Refollow is working good for me on list management.

  20. How do I see people (whom I follow) not on any list? You mentioned Tweetdeck sorts people not on any list. Can you brief how?

  21. On they appear on your home page under "Tweets".

    In Tweetdeck they appear in your "Timeline" column.

  22. did just what I was after - thanks Ray


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