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What is an X (formerly Twitter) user list?

User lists on X are a very helpful tool to manage the diverse information streams on Twitter. A user list stream shows only tweets published by a specified group of Twitter accounts which were added to that list. Any user can create such a list and choose to make it publicly available or keep it private.

The X (Twitter) Search Network Data Importer 3.0 (beta) can access these lists with the search operator “list:” and analyze the corresponding network.

Where to find X (formerly Twitter) lists?

If an X user has created one or more public lists, you can find them by opening the menu button just left of the “Follow” button at the top of the Twitter profile page and clicking on “View lists” (as seen in the image on the right). On the following page you will find all available lists with the categories “Owned”, “Subscribed” and “Member” at the top. These categories are gateways to other user lists you may find interesting. After selecting a list you will see the respective tweet stream. By clicking on “Members” you are able to see which users have been added to that list.

Many news outlets provide lists with e.g. politicians, celebrities, athletes, companies and organizations to keep up with the daily output of millions of tweets. Also, sports teams may list their players, political parties list their elected representatives, or business analysts list companies from a certain industry.

In this example will work with the list of Members of Congress created by CSPAN.

While there is currently no other way to search for lists within Twitter, you can use the search query “site:twitter.com lists *your keyword*” in Google Search to find links to lists of your interest. Also, the search engine Scoutzen allows to search the list descriptions that were provided by list authors.

Finding an accurate and well-maintained list of users on a certain topic can be a time-consuming task because there is usually no additional information on when such a list was created or last updated. Thus, we recommend that you create your own list especially when considering large scale research projects.

Where to find Twitter user lists
Overview of available user lists
Twitter user list start page CSPAN Congress

How to access an X (formerly) Twitter user list with NodeXL Pro?

You can access any public list of Twitter users or your own lists with the X (Twitter) Search Network Data Importer 3.0. The importer connects to the X Search via your personal X account.

When you open Data > Import > From X (formerly Twitter) Search Network 3.0… you can use the search operator “list:” and add the list ID. You find the ID of a list in the URL. With regard to the CSPAN list with Members of Congress (https://twitter.com/i/lists/34179516) the query looks like this:  list:34179516

It is also possible to focus on a certain topic within the list by adding a search term the query:  list:34179516 “health care”

How to analyze the data?

Learn about the key feature “Task Automation” to easily perform a social network and content analysis on the collected data with just a few clicks.

Example reports

  • The network report generated from the CSPAN list with Members of Congress via the Twitter Search Network Importer can be found in NodeXL Graph Gallery here.
  • The Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) has listed all speakers of GIJC19. Here is the network report and map.

Questions?

Please send an email to info@smrfoundation.org.

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