How to use Twitter Twitter tools and settings

Twitter screenshot - add to list

Twitter lists make it easy to filter tweets from groups of users without following each one individually

Twitter Lists

Any Twitter user can create a list to help organise the tweets they want to see. Each Twitter list is a group of users, and you can follow a list in the same way as you follow an individual Twitter user.

Probably the best way to start using lists is to find one you’re interested in that someone else has already created. Say, for example, you are especially interested in Tim Berners-Lee, one of the web’s founders. You could start by following his Twitter account - @TimBerners_Lee, and then see on his profile which lists he belongs to. At the time of writing Tim has been added to almost 5,000 lists, so if you see one you’re interested in, you can click the green ‘+ Follow’ button next to that list.

It’s important to note that by following a list you’re not following each individual Twitter user in that list. Lists are a really useful way to follow what specific users are tweeting without their tweets constantly cluttering up your timeline. Lists act as a filter, so you can switch between different groups, simply by choosing the list you’re interested in from the drop-down menu that appears when you click the ‘Lists’ tab on your Twitter Home or Profile screen.

To create your own list, go to the profile page of the first person you’d like on your list. Click on the person icon below their biography, and click ‘Add to list’ on the drop-down menu. Choose a name for your list, and whether you’d like your list to be public or private.

Each Twitter user is restricted to creating 20 lists of their own, and each list can contain up to 500 users.

Personalise your Twitter profile

There's no obligation, but you can personalise your new Twitter profile with a photo and a short biography. Twitter gives you very little space for self-expression, so you need to make sure that your Twitter profile picture (avatar) is legible at 48x48 pixels size when it appears next to your Tweets. Your biography also needs to be succinct, summarising whatever you want people to know about you - in less than 160 characters. Your biography and avatar will be the first impression that potential followers see of you, so you should make them interesting. You can change your avatar and bio at any time by going to your Twitter account settings page.

Adding photos to tweets

You may want to add photos to your tweets. You can't add photos directly to Twitter, but you can add links to photos you've uploaded anywhere else on the web. One of the most popular services is Twitpic. Most mobile phone Twitter apps and standalone Twitter software for your computer can integrate with one or more Twitter photo services. Once you've uploaded a photo to TwitPic it will add a link to your tweet in the form followed by six random numbers and digits.