After it was spotted in testing earlier this month, Twitter has now released its new list search option to all users.
Add new voices and conversations to your Timeline using Lists.— Twitter (@Twitter) June 18, 2020
You can now:
???? make a List
???? discover new Lists
???? follow a List
???? Tweet a List pic.twitter.com/7xhwMXRUWG
As you can see here, in addition to the list recommendation panels in your Twitter feed, you'll now also be able to tap on a 'Show more recommendations' prompt at the bottom to get to the list search option.
From there, you can enter a topic and get a listing of themed lists, based on their title, for you to add as either a swipeable, alternate feed, or just to have for reference among your other lists.
Will that make lists a discovery option for list creators as well as regular users?
We asked Twitter how they choose which lists are displayed within these search results, and whether all public lists are included.
"The specific Lists suggestions you see are based on of a mixture of who you follow, the things you and they Tweet about and the Lists you currently are following."
So you won't see every users' lists, but a more refined selection, aligned with your behavior and interests.
"At launch we will have a large selection of Lists that have been reviewed or created by Twitter’s own curation team."
That's probably a more critical measure - Twitter is also vetting the lists displayed, at least initially, which could make it a better option, with a more focused set of lists, as checked and approved by Twitter's team.
Because a lot of Twitter lists are not great. I know I've created lists in the past of things that, at the time, were relevant to me, but they'd be tragically outdated now. If every person's old lists were showing up, that could make it a less useful option, and if users see poor results, they won't use it.
Twitter moderating the lists included is a good move - though it also seems like a highly manual task. Given this, eventually, it seems likely that Twitter will lean more on algorithmic suggestions, based on your friends and what they follow, and reduce human intervention in the process.
Either way, it adds another way to find themed and topic-based lists to follow, which expands on Twitter's push to stretch beyond following individual users. As a reminder, Twitter added the option to follow topics last November, and swipeable lists as alternate news feeds last June.
List discovery is another enhancement on this front, and it could help more users get more out of the Twitter experience.