On Twitter’s “Listed” As A Popularity Metric

Everyone’s looking for a good metric on defining the breadth of your influence on Twitter. Sure, you could just look at the number of retweets or favorites, or you could look at MG Siegler’s “Golden Ratio” discussed a few months back, but what if you really want to know where you stand on the pulse of the planet?

The slow rollout of Twitter’s new feature, Lists, has been speculated to shed some more light on the situation. Mark Drapeau raises an interesting point. In fact, he even (satirically) goes as far as to say “I always knew I was awesome, but now I can prove it.”

This got me thinking about the manor in which Twitter Lists will be used, and if they actually will provide a good metric on one’s influence. Lists can be public or private. These are used for the intentional purpose of packaging up people for other to follow, and creating personal convenience, respectively.

Think about it. If you are going to make a list of “people who I want to read all of their tweets” or “these are my close friends,” these will most likely be private lists. If you’re creating “My recommendations for who to follow in the tech industry,” that’s going to be a public list.

The interesting part is, being added to someone’s private list does not increase the “Listed” count of a user at all.

So, what does it mean to have a high “Listed” count? Lots of people have decided that other people should follow you as well. What doesn’t it mean? That lots of individuals have promoted you to some type of elevated status among their personal streams.

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