Since 2006, Twitter has been breaking major news, connecting celebrities directly to their fans, and creating all kinds of memes from the hilarious to the downright bizarre. Whether you use the service or not, Twitter has played a huge role in internet culture for the past 11 years.
Despite its surface simplicity—a non-stop flow of updates, 140 characters long or less—this social network hides powerful tools and customizations under its unassuming exterior. Here’s how you can start getting more out of Twitter, both on your phone and in your web browser.
One of Twitter’s best features—its endless scroll of updates—is also its worst. If you follow friends, celebrities, news organizations, humor accounts, and others, all the disparate content will get jumbled together in a muddle. That’s where lists come in. This frequently overlooked feature lets you put together collections of themed accounts (sci-fi authors, your coworkers, National Parks, etcetera), and then view tweets from those accounts in a single stream. Throw together your favorite comedians for a list you can read through when you want to laugh, and trusted science news outlets for a timeline that will stimulate your sense of wonder.
To make a Twitter list, simply open up the profile page of someone you want to add to a list, click on the three dots to the right of the page, and then choose Add or remove from lists. The pop-up window will let you add the account to an existing list or make it the first account in a brand-new list. On your phone, you can find the lists option by opening up a profile and tapping the three dots (Android) or the cog icon (iOS).
Once you’ve created a list, you can find a link to it on your profile page. If you’ve set your list to be private, then only you will be able to see and access it. If you’ve made it public, then anyone can view it. Other people can subscribe to your public lists, so you can also use them to curate Twitter accounts for your friends to…