My twitter feature suggestion – enable lists in timeline

TwitterTwitter lists are a pretty cool feature, they enable you to create a group of twitter users where you can view the timeline of just the members of that group, without the requirement of needing to follow any of those users. There are other uses as well, such as being able to share lists to find new users to follow.

So for example, I have an “interesting” list where I have users that I think are interesting to follow, so if I feel the need I can check the timeline of just those users, but I don’t need to follow any of those which means I can easily check them from time to time without them cluttering up my timeline.

The longer I’ve used twitter, the more users I’ve followed, and the greater the need to have an effective way to manage who you are following. The number of users people follow varies, from just a few, to hundreds, to thousands. Personally I’ve found my “magic number” to be around the 100 following mark. This means once I’m following more than 100 twitter users, my timeline starts getting too busy, it starts being too difficult to keep up with interesting tweets and it leads me to lose interest in twitter. More recently I just move users to lists and stop following them, so I can check in on them once in a while but they aren’t cluttering my timeline where I want to catch most of the tweets from friends, family and peers etc.

This holiday season, I thought of a relatively simple feature which could make twitter lists even more useful: Having an option to enable/disable tweets from lists in my main timeline. Let me explain my use case which may make things clearer. I follow a lot of work-related users which provide updates about the company I work for, the industry, products, technology etc. If I take a week of vacation, to get a true break from work I might want to ignore all those tweets, but still care about tweets from close friends who may want to catch up while I’m on holidays. If there was an option to enable/disable lists in my main timeline, then I could simple add all my work-related users to a single list, and have it enabled to show those tweets in my main timeline (twitter doesn’t do this at the moment), then when I go on vacation I simply disable the lists updating in my main timeline so I don’t see those work related tweets.

I think this could be relevant for other uses as well, say for example I attend an annual event which goes for one week, during that event there might be a range of different users I want to follow related to the location, the event, and other users, but other times of the year I may not want to actively see those tweets in my timeline all the time. Again if I had a way of enabling/disabling tweets from a list in a timeline, I could simple add those users to a list then enable the tweets in my main timeline during the 1 week event.

I think this could be simple to implement and have a lot of benefits, and not annoy anyone who doesn’t want to utilise it. It would just be something simple like a checkbox under the list configuration which says “Show tweets in timeline” or similar. I’d like to see this feature in twitter one day, do you agree? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.