Does the creation of new lists affect the Twitter referral algorithm at all?


I can best ask my question by giving an example:

Say I create a list of all of the Twitter handles from my home town that are owned by sports journalists. Twitter has what I will call a referral algorithm, which refers users to other Twitter users that they think you might want to follow. Obviously this algorithm is based somewhat on overall follower trends or other kinds of clusters of users.

So when I create a Twitter list, does the algorithm at all respond to this in any way? Like, is it some small part of the algorithm? Or is the algorithm based entirely on either following or retweeting or favoriting structures within the overall Twitter graph?


The signals and data and analysis Twitter uses to power various algorithms on the service are constantly evolving.


Hi Taylor @episod . Thanks very much for your response.

I have a follow-up question that I hope you can answer.

The software program NodeXL has a “search” function that I can use to search for about 1 week of posts containing a specific word or words, and it then collects a network graph of the people engaged in discussion around the search terms. This search function can be used with Boolean operators like OR, and I can search for all posts containing specific Twitter handles. So for example I can search for all of the posts from the last week containing the New York Times and Washington Post Twitter handles by searching for “@nytimes OR @washingtonpost.” And I can search for 3 or more search terms at once too, like “@nytimes OR @washingtonpost OR @WSJ OR @BostonGlobe.”

This is a great search function, but I am trying to understand a limitation I’ve noticed on these searches. One thing I have noticed is that particularly when I am searching for one or more very popular Twitter handles like these, I often get incomplete search results. So I might search for one term and get a full week’s worth of posts containing that term. Or I might get only the posts from the past two days containing that term. Also, sometimes it will say I have searched for too many search terms at once.

  1. Are there a certain number of posts for a particular search term that are blocked above a certain threshhold? If there is a limit, what is that limit?

  2. Is there a specific limit on the number of simultaneous search terms that I can search for in one search?