DuckDuckGo search engine users get Twitter lists (shows Twitter needs to refocus on them)

This feature is getting turned on 4 p.m. today (Pacific Time) but I’ve been playing around with alternative search engine DuckDuckGo. It’s different than Google, tries to use partner’s APIs much more than Google does. That makes it worse in some areas (local searches aren’t as good) but better in other areas (like searching for information on Twitter trending topics).

Anyway, since Jack Dorsey is back running product at Twitter (he really invented Twitter, then left to start a new mobile payments company, Square, and yesterday returned to help Twitter get to the next level), I wanted to highlight services that are using Twitter’s lists feature. Twitter really needs to refocus on lists to make them more useful.

So, what does DuckDuckGo do with lists? Well, starting this afternoon you can put on one your home page. Here, you can visit my “most influential in tech” list on DuckDuckGo. You can even set that to be your home page on DuckDuckGo. Pretty cool.

BBbbbbbbuuuuuuuuutttttttttt: there are sizeable problems with Twitter lists.

Here’s some:

1. No more than 500 members on a list. Most of my lists are already full and I can’t add more. This is ridiculous. There are more than 500 VCs in the world, for instance, yet I can’t add more to my list.
2. You can’t have lists of lists. I imagine lots of you would love to keep your own list of “most influential people in Tech” and add yours to mine. But you can’t.
3. No RTs by members of a list.
4. No way to search just folks on a list (would be VERY useful!)
5. No trends from a list.
6. No way to recommend people to be added to lists.
7. No public lists (like a wiki where anyone can add someone).
8. When you follow a list nothing happens to your main feed.

I could go on. But this is crazy. Why doesn’t Twitter do anything about lists? This is how you make Twitter much more mainstream and useful to other services like DuckDuckGo.

In the meantime, we’re stuck with an unimaginative Twitter R&D team. I really hope Jack gets that unstuck.

Comments

  1. While I agree on all of these points, my guess is that 1, 2, 4, 5, and 8 would all be too computationally intensive for Twitter to consider at this point. Which is a shame, because 4 and 5 are like holy grails to me… :) Probably need these things solved within your own personal clients, but then Twitter is sadly cracking down on those.

  2. plus I’ve been having, as I understand others have to, deleting lists – so I’ve got old lists I don’t want’ that I can’t delete, and since I’ve already got the daft maximum of 20 lists, I can’t create any new ones… How sucky is that ?!

  3. plus I’ve been having, as I understand others have to, deleting lists – so I’ve got old lists I don’t want’ that I can’t delete, and since I’ve already got the daft maximum of 20 lists, I can’t create any new ones… How sucky is that ?!

  4. I do agree with the concept, but I think lists are still too restrictive. I would rather see tagging. Then I could define filters by tags, trends by tags, etc. It would be computationally intensive, but it is something I would pay for – that is how important it is to managing my twitter feed trough.

  5. Twitter lists are certainly broken or can use improvements. It seems Twitter doesn’t care for those who use and rely on Twitter lists for their daily reading on twitter.com

  6. I haven’t made any use of lists because just point #8 alone makes them almost worthless IMO. It would be nice to have some assistance in at least knowing how far I need to scroll to catch up on what I haven’t read, too – I’d like to have a “feed” that works like a feed – but that’s not a list issue.