Some people choose to follow very few people on Twitter. Others choose to follow everyone back. Most people fall somewhere between and, like me, never established a consistent plan for realistically finding, managing, and engaging with hundreds or even thousands of “follows.”
There are several apps that are searchable databases of people-to-follow lists created by others. There are apps to search Twitter bios and apps that recommend or help you discover people to follow. But what about managing the people you already follow?
For awhile now, ManageFlitter has been my favorite Twitter contacts manager for its ability to filter follows for removal based on simple but useful criteria like if they are not following you back or are inactive. A new tool called Formulists goes beyond follow removal by offering additional keyword and geographic filtering options and then auto-generating continuously updating Twitter lists of the results. Formulists can also act as a discovery engine if you allow it to curate beyond those users you already follow.
Why would you want lists? Twitter lists are a simple way to organize groups of people and carry them across platforms. For example, you can create columns in a client like TweetDeck from your existing lists and then have the same lists available when you access the Twitter website or certain mobile apps. The problem is that Twitter lists are a hassle to make without an app like Formulists.
Specifically with Formulists you can:
- Sort Your Following: Organize the people you follow by searchable criteria such as location and bio keywords
- Find New People: Find people similar to you, who your follows engage with, and mutual follows of your follows
- Manage Your Followers: See the people who recently followed or unfollowed you, people who do not follow you back, who you recently followed, and who recently listed you
- Track Your Interactions: Keep track of who you retweet, who retweets you, and who you @ converse with
- Create Custom Lists: Add, subtract, and filter existing lists or clone another existing list
As ReadWriteWeb points out, the one major limitation of Formulists is a limitation of Twitter itself — you can only have 20 lists at any given time. Hopefully with the new platform released, Twitter will return attention to improving its oft-overlooked features like lists.
See some of the lists I created here. What are your favorite apps for managing contacts on Twitter?