How Twibes Lists Work

Twibes lists were changed on Sunday 24th January 2010 in response to complaints from many people that they were being listed “too many times.” This post describes the new functionality.

1. Twibes keeps a list of Twitter users organized by keyword tag on

2. Anyone can join the Twibes lists by tagging themselves.

3. You can also have Twibes copy of the list to your Twitter account.

4. If you were the first person to click “Make Twitter List,” on Twibes, you have the main Twitter list. The list will be created in your name, for example “@adamloving/twibes-socialmedia.” Twibes will add and remove users from the list as they are added and removed from the list on Twibes. If someone else already has the main list, you will be assigned to follow their list (@someone_else/twibes-socialmedia). If they delete their list, another list (possibly yours) will be delegated as the main Twitter list. If necessary, Twibes will assign your account to follow another copy of the same list.

We have to do it this way because the @twibes Twitter account can’t own all the Twitter lists. There is a limit of 20 Twitter lists per account. We assign people to follow someone else’s Twitter list to reduce the number of duplicate lists (there were many complaints about inflated Twitter list membership counts).

5. If you do not want to follow someone else’s Twibes list, click one of the “Convert” links on your Twibes account page. Log in to Twibes, click “Profile,” then click “Edit Twitter Lists” from the right hand side.

8 thoughts on “How Twibes Lists Work”

  1. So what does this mean? If I’m currently on 300 “twibes-socialmedia” lists they will now reduce to 1 list that I’m on? Yet we can only assign ourselves 10 list categories? Ouch. There’s something off in that logic.

  2. Is twitter cracking down on twibes lists? My lists were at 1500… now plummeting. WTF is going on?

  3. Courtenay – Ideally, yes there would be one twibes-socialmedia list with 299 followers (in this example). So, you are still effectively on 300 lists even though Twibes only counts for +1 on your listed score. In practical reality though, there will probably always be multiple with many followers (twibes picks a new “main” Twitter list when someone deletes one, and slowly moves everyone over). Hope that makes sense.

  4. Travis – Twitter isn’t cracking down, but many of the listed people were complaining about being on so many copies of the new list. So, as I explained in the post we are consolidating them. Now the Twibes lists you are on will have multiple followers, so your total “listed” count will go down, but you will be seen by the same number of people.

  5. The growth rate for lists was getting a bit ridiculous due to redundancies… but at the same time, it seems there needs to be a counter element in now letting you tag yourself a bit more. It does make sense that the exposure rate is still the same – so good job on that! :)

  6. Hi,

    Thank for the explanation. The consensus among those I’ve spoken to on Twitter about this is that it’s a good move. Many , including myself, were being concerned that being featured on 1,000+ lists with only 1 or 2 followers each lacked credibility. Another common concern was that individually created (non-Twibe) lists were being drowned out, so hopefully this will address that too, in time.

    If Twibe generated lists had continued to look spammy, I guess the alternative for individuals would have been to laboriously remove themselves from each list, or just opt to withdraw from Twibes altogether. I’m glad that didn’t have to happen as I think this can be a useful resource.

    Thanks for listening to your users – here’s to a better Twibes.

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