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.
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.