Reciprocity, Digital Influence and the New Twitter Lists Feature
By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer
Two-weeks after a beta launch, Twitter recently rolled out Twitter lists. The new feature enables users to create sub-streams, or categories of followers. It is a new way to organize and manage Twitter users.
The bare-bones micro-blogging site strives to create a clean, simplistic environment. Therefore, any update creates a buzz — not only on Twitter but on other web services as well. The Twitter list feature is interesting because it touches on our exploration of reciprocity and digital influence in many ways.
Reciprocity — Just as following a Twitter user who follows you is a sign of reciprocity, the same is true with the new list feature. For example, if you’re featured on a users marketing list, you might be more inclined to check out that user and potentially friend them. It’s a way to increase your visibility, organize and develop a deeper connection with other Twitter users.
Measure of Influence — The new list feature is a badge of influence as well. Just as the number of followers indicates your influence, so too does the list feature. If you’re on 1-2 lists, it’s not all that impressive. But if you’re featured on dozens or hundreds of lists, you’re much more influential in the Twitter community.
It will be interesting to see the evolution of the Twitter list feature. Because it embodies many of the reciprocity and digital influence principles, many Twitter profile-building lists will need to be updated and a race to 1 million will be renewed. Above all else, however, Twitter lists helps bring order to a digital world overcome with too much information.