How Does Facebook Generate Which Friends Appear At The Top Of Your Profile?

2010-01-25 at 09:46 am hugege

When you look at your own facebook profile the top six people are show. How are these chosen? Are they randomly generated or is there some algorithm that brings up people you search/search you more more often?

276 Responses to “How Does Facebook Generate Which Friends Appear At The Top Of Your Profile?”

  1. Brittni Nicole

    Its just random. It would be cool if they did have some reason for it.
    You could suggest it to the makers because they are working on redoing a bunch of stuff right now.
    Good Luck

  2. Tippity Top
  3. butterfl

    I’m pretty sure it’s just random, especially since when you refresh, new people come out. No pattern.

  4. Luis

    Seems to be random, although if it is random, there are people that is never chosen. In that case, seems that at least the first preview is not random.

  5. Mintiemii

    Actually while it appears to be random the same people show up in a random sequence. My friend discovered that with six people showing, the same twelve rotate- with my own page, with the three random friends I have available (the other nine are set) it rotates through the same 18 people at random.

    Weird huh?

  6. StarCityVic

    I would agree with some of this, but when I view someone elses page, the same people keep appearing, is that different because it is someone elses? why would that be different? Mine shows the same people over and over again, each time you refresh, one or two, the switches out and comes up with still some of the same people. any ideas?

  7. Dan

    Have been wondering about this.

    It is bizarre how consistently people are saying “it’s random” when it clearly is not. If you have 200 friends, you can refresh the screen a dozen times or a hundred times and you will always get the same few people. It only changes a little from day to day.

    It’s clearly a selected group. To me it looks like people who have visited my profile recently. The people *I* am stalking (LOL) are not the ones who show up. I’ve tested this by selecting a few people who I don’t communicate with and visiting their pages and profiles a lot. They never “start” showing up.

    And it does not seem to be people who comment on my posts or on whose posts I comment. Most of the people showing up on my list right now are people I’ve never actually spoken with besides the very first step of requesting / accepting them as friends.

    Anybody else notice this? So many sites that come up on google search for this question are flooded with IT”S RANDOM – when it obviously isn’t – that I’m feeling paranoid about it. The it’s-random-bots are out there to flood the net with disinformation! :D

    It looks like Facebook is giving us a way to see who’s checking us out, but keeping it a secret so that they won’t be scared off knowing they can be seen ;-)

  8. Jason

    Totally agree with you Dan. People even say it’s random when even in their reasoning – it’s clearly not random. I think it’s an algorithm that takes into account who visits my page but also who I visit.

  9. Doug

    I also notice a pattern, but it’s different for my profile page than for when I view my friends’. When I view my page, I often get several people who I rarely/never have contact with. But, when I view friends’ pages who are in fairly constant contact with each other, I usually see pictures of one or two of them almost every time I check a page. There is always at least one from the “group” and they usually tend to bounce in and out – even if you reload several times. I’m certain it’s not random selection and they aren’t shown all the time, so they aren’t placed there.

    I’m guessing FBook uses pics of a couple of profiles you visit/interact with often, a couple of people who visit/interact with your profile and then maybe a couple of randoms.

  10. Rene

    Facebook Official Help Center

    Who shows up in the “friends box” on my profile?

    Your “friends box” will show the thumbnails of six randomly selected friends until you specify otherwise. To edit these settings, simply navigate to your profile page and then click on the pencil icon in the upper right hand corner of the “Friends” box.

    The Edit Box that appears will allow you to specify how many friends are displayed and which friends you always want to show. If you want to ensure that friends from certain networks appear, you can select those networks in the “Include friends from” section. Finally, checking the “Show Networks Section” will display a list of all of the networks your friends are in.

  11. Napolleo

    I agree with Dan. Its clearly not random. However Ive noticed that its the people with whom i share most friends that show up very frequently. Like ever 4. time i refresh

  12. David

    it’s the people that you have the most mutual friends with

  13. Anya B

    I think that’s it! Well done!

  14. Lizzie

    It’s definitely NOT mutual friends. I just became friends with my future roommate for college on facebook. Now, we only have 3 mutual friends, yet she shows up on my profile. I refresh it, and she’s there, 4/5 times. So it is either because I have been visiting her profile or she’s been visitnig mine!

  15. j.b.

    i’m fairly certain that it is random to a point, but only to a point. i really think that it will stay on a certain group of people and just show those randomly, but when someone visits my page and browses around for a bit, then they show up all of the sudden out of the blue, but their pic doesn’t stay.

    i know my brother’s pic is in there almost every single time i look, and i think that is because he is never logged off of fb. he is constantly on. but i think he rarely looks at my page… just the home page.

    so i think it takes into account a few factors, which is why it switches up from time to time. but i definitely believe that someone who visits {or stalks} often will start appearing there more “randomly”.

    but i do wish fb would just say what the real reason/rationale is, because i’m pretty sure it’s not purely random. there is no way. if it was, i would see a lot more of my 350+ friends in there. but it’s usually the same group of 50-100.

  16. anon

    same thing happens with my page. The same ‘familiar’ folk tend to circulate a few rounds, and even remain in there despite refreshing the page several times. Though to disprove that the people are those who just visited your page… there is at least 1 close friend who posts on my page a lot and we have a lot of mutual friends, and she rarely appears as one of the 6. However, there is another friend who prob checks my wall a lot who does appear. Also, sometimes I view my page from my mom’s acct since she rarely goes on fb, but her profile didn’t appear in the 6 friends box despite me logging in there quite a lot… so Im not certain it’s people who have just viewed your page.

  17. Enya

    @Dan
    Do you know what, I compeleted agree with you in every way Dan, i hate when i research this and everyone seems to come back with it being ‘random’ and its so obviously not.
    I’m glad someone understands me. There always seems to be some sort of pattern of the same people but in a different order, and every so often it swaps and changes a few people.
    I myself, do believe that it is friends that recently viewed your profile, and i love that little statement you made, ”It looks like Facebook is giving us a way to see who’s checking us out, but keeping it a secret so that they won’t be scared off knowing they can be seen” haha that would be cool, and I think it just might be true..

  18. jd

    It’s not random, nor is it mutual friends. I’m *hoping* it’s my stalkers :)

  19. Its george bush’s FAULT! you can pick you friends, you can pick your nose… but you cant pick your friends noses! DOWN WITH FACEBOOK! FacebookSucks!

  20. Irfan Khan

    @Dan
    So right.. I also get to see the same few people in my top fans with whom i communicate a lot through facebook

  21. Anon

    Dan is right

    Pretty sure it isnt completely random. I dont use FB often, i havent really made any status updates or talk/liked anything. Recently my girlfriend uploaded something to her page and it was my first like. Prior to liking the status, i noticed she never really showed up on any of her friends top 6, maybe occasionally. After liking her update she almost always appears in nearly every single one of her friends top 6 lists on multiple refreshs(i only tried this as an experiment, obviously) So, i think the friends you see on other people’s pages have to do with your mutual friends and how much you interact with them to a certain degree.

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  23. beastmasterclydebarson

    yeah. random no. no algo is truly random. It’s based on a pattern. If I had to guess. It is 50/50 half friends you stalk and half random/mutual friend count. 3 of each. If you go to someone’s page whom checks yours frequently or interacts alot. You will notice you are on their top friends often even if you don’t know them personally. To say it is random is idiotic. Of course that is FB’s statement -1984

  24. Jason

    In my case anyway, I think it’s based on mutual friends. The same 5-6 people who regularly show up in my profile all have between 194-205 mutual friends with me, more than anyone else. The rest seem to be random– including people who I suspect have probably never visited/stalked my profile.

  25. Lucy

    I have 425 friends on facebook,
    I refreshed my page 20 times, 120 friends could have been shown.
    Of these 60 friends appeared.
    50 friends came up once,
    4 friends came up twice,
    1 friend came up 4 times.
    1 friend came up 7 times,
    1 friend came up 9 times
    1 friend came up 10 times
    3 friends came up 11 times!!

  26. Emma

    I think the people that show up in that box are definitely the people who stalk you the most, and maybe some randoms. I have a friend, and I visited his profile a lot this year (i had quite the crush on him haha), I experimented reloading his profile to see who would appear in his box, thinking that if Dan was right then I’d had to appear a lot, well, I appear in his box of friends practically every time (which I is unsettling really, im quite embarassed haha). About the other people who appear on his box, I’m positive they also visit his profile a lot. Now, the people who appear in my box are also people who are very likely to visit my profile many times.

    So I agree with Dan, I think it’s facebook way to secretly and very quitely tell you who visits your profile the most.

  27. pipi

    I have 259 friends. I’ve refreshed my profile 30 times.
    Only 15 friends appeared!!
    2 friends appeared 12 times
    1 friend appeared 10 times
    2 friends appeared 9 times
    7 friends appeared 8 times
    2 friend s appeared 7 times
    1 friend appeared 6 times
    Among those are 8 which profile I never even checked, so they must have been checking mine.
    I support Dan’s theory…

  28. pipi

    oh, and it’s not about mutual friends. with some of those friens appearing in my profile I have only 2 or 3 mutual friends. there are so many people with which I have 30 or more mutual friends that never appear…

  29. Linda

    I agree with Emma.

    I have been stalking this guy that I have a crush on and I noticed that I appear as the first top 6 friends :(

    It’s quite embarrassing, but even if I “wait” to go I still end up showing up there.

    I’m thinking of creating a fake profile just to stalk that guy.

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  31. Chris

    I have 403 friends. through out the day I logged into my facebook profile 100 times. 16 friends appeared. No one else. Of those 16
    1 friend 19 friends in common…which is a low # most of friends all know each other, no pics, a few comments back in September and early Oct. 1 like
    the rest of the 15 I have at least 25 -120 friends in common, lost of comments, post regularly on each other wall, tagged in same photos and albums and multiple likes. and about 1/2 are on my recetnly interacted with. But I do interact with them quite regularly.

    It just so happens that the odd friend with little interaction with is also on my recently interacted list.
    I have looked at his page ALOT. I show up on his friend list in the top 12 almost every time and he is on mine.
    I never show up on his list of 10 on his profile page though.

    There is a good chance he may look at my profile too.
    I wish I knew if he was there because I look at his page or he looks at mine

    Any ideas

  32. Jenna

    i agree with all of you that says its not random because it is NOT. most of the time its all my close friends showing up that i communicate a lot with. but then theres some random people who arent so random.. haha if u know what i mean. like this guy i think likes me is always showing up on mine but we dont talk at all on facebook at all. i feel like i might stalk him too tho. i have been wondering for awhile whether its the people you stalk or the people that stalk you. but i have come to the conclusion that its the people that stalk you because there are a couple people i know i most definitely stalk, but they never seem to show up. im not really sure though what do you guys think?

  33. Allie H

    Didn’t anyone read the post by “Rene” from 5-22-10??? It’s an explanation from the Facebook Official Help Center. I imagine the speculation by commenters will go on and on even though the whole thing is clearly explained just a few posts back.

  34. Zack

    @Allie H
    Quotation from the help centre in Rene’s post does NOT answer the correct question. Sure it says that the friends shown in your profile are selected “randomly” but this is clearly not the case. “Random” is only part of the truth.

    Dan is pretty close to the truth I think. So many people have noticed the same issue that it’s hard to believe FB chooses those top friends completely randomly.

  35. Random Person

    It’s not random at all. It’s a “who stalks you” list. I have nearly 400 friends, and those that show up the most are those who infrequently interact with me, but I know they are lurking and paying attention, because I interact enough with them offline to know they see everything I do on Facebook. This includes my mom, and several introverted friends who never “appear” to be on Facebook, never comment, never chat with me, never email me, are never tagged in any photo with me, etc…. but when I talk to them live, they know every comment I’ve made, because they are watching.

  36. Random Person

    I posted too soon… I want to add that it’s true some of these friends and I have a lot of connections in common. But if it was only about number of connections, I would have a completely different list than what I have, because I have friends with far more connections in common with me, who interact with me nearly daily, but never show in this friends list.

    More telling, about half that frequently appear in my friends list I have only 1 friend or zero friends in common with me. So there blows that theory!

    My guess is that the algorithm is based on a combo of profile views, and photo views.

  37. Chi

    It is definitely not random. Most the people that show up I’m pretty certain stalk me. One is an old friend of mine, another is my ex, 2 people are people that used to like me or still do, and some random people here and there but I can find a reason why they would stalk me and some of my friends that even talk about facebook things i post, in real life. xD Its definitely not mutual friends because some I have less than 5 mutual friends with, and one friend I have zero mutual friends. It is also most definitely the people I stalk because a lot of them I never check their profiles.

    I agree with Dan, It is probably who “stalks” you the most.

  38. Chi

    *sorry I ment most definitly not about the people you stalk.

  39. MAA

    I am guessing it is not fully random. They probably use a formula. It could be (for example):

    2 friends who you have most mutual friends with
    1 friend who visits your profile the most in the past XYZ period
    1 random
    1 who you recently contacted
    1 who was/is last active on facebook

    Again, this is just a guess; I doubt it is just a “random” choice.

  40. Filipp

    @Dan
    I also have noticed thats its not completly random! There always 12 people and they keep appearind over and over, but i’ve noticed that the do change from day to day..

  41. Amanda

    it’s definitely not random because i know it’s the same 12 or so people and no more then that showing up randomly. I know that i was texting this guy thats my friend & he was telling me how he just looked on my profile & saw something, & then i looked looked on my profile & noticed his picture popped up on my friends list. so i think it has something to do with people who frequently view your page.

  42. YAY

    Hmm i agree with Dan. But what about the friends you see on your friend’s profile? Because ive been stalking this person ( not my friend on fb), and the name keeps appearing.. hehe opps!! Anyone with same issues?

  43. Kaisi

    Haha I’d rather it’s not random. And today, odd enough, every time I log into my FB– I mean today–I saw the same girl ranking first on my friends list box. Oh I seldom meet with such case. I mean, just today.. And the thing is, we recently (if you say accidentally) have just had a small fight :)
    I also believe there is a formula. And it’s like FB is trying to let the cat out of the bag while performing very fair to everyone. :p
    Oh by the bye, if so.. I like that. ^^

  44. Drew

    Out of my 400+ “friends”, my mom consistently appears on my top friends. My siblings a little less frequent. Definitely not random. And I’m sure my mom stalks me (as any loving mother would do)! But we also have many mutual friends, and common facebook activities (though not recently), so I cannot say how much of it is based on stalking. The “friends” I really don’t know personally never show up. I’m hoping that the stalker theory is true, since there is also a pretty girl who appears quite frequently, even if we don’t interact much on facebook. She also seems friendly to me in the real world. Somehow, I believe facebook has good intentions to let the cat out in a non embarrassing way as Kaisi mentioned. Isn’t bringing people closer together facebook’s agenda? Regulary flashing someone’s picture in your profile page can make you think about him/her a little bit more. And if this is really the case, it is understandable why facebook does not reveal how it works.

    Friendster sucks because it is so stalker friendly.

    I hope someone makes a quantitative experiment!

  45. Oscar

    Hey,

    I dont know if the theory about recent page views holds up. I have been stalking my girlfriends page for about 5 months multiple times a day (she flirts with guys online all the time) just to keep track of who she is talking to. I have never shown up in her friends list on the left hand side of the page, I also show up way way down on her friends list page. One thing to note is we have never communicated on facebook, short of me replying to her friend request.

    I tested this from my account and I thought maybe its not showing me on her list cos im looking at it through my account. So i set up another account and went to her list from there. I refreshed it loads of times and I still never showed up.

    However looking at her list from within my account and within a random account (where she was not added as a friend) yielded the same top people.

    I am sure out of all her 150 friends I visit her page the most, about 3 times a day, and I have never shown up on that list?

    Anyone got any thoughts on this?

  46. Will

    I think it is human nature to want to know who is stalking you so I wouldn’t be surprised if the creators of FB put the code in that generates statistics of people you’ve been in contact with and are most closely associated. If I could have created FB I would have just because I could.

    This isn’t random because the same 5-6 people show up on mine every time I refresh. I noticed with some of them I’m tagged in their pictures or tagged in pictures that others have taken of them. So I am linked to them through that whether I actually communicate with them on FB regularly or not. Some that show up 9/10 times I refresh I haven’t seen or spoken to since high school which was 10 years ago. So they must be looking.

    Also, the friends I speak to on messanger or send PMs back and forth with frequently do not show up often, if at all on my page. So I don’t think messaging or posting on their wall factors in.

    With all that in mind, I believe these are NOT picked at random and are generated by association (picture tags, # of friends in common) and the ammount of times someone has looked at your FB. So yeah if you think she is stalking you ask her out anyway and see what happen. :D

  47. Sean
  48. Chuck

    I noticed I come up on a few peoples page ALL the time. It sucks. I noticed every time I check up on my ex, I’m on her top friends. I want to figure out how to get off her page. I truly don’t ‘stalk’ her. I don’t want her to think I do. But, now it’s an obsession! I’ve gone weeks without seeing her page, just to test it. And STILL! I’m on her top friends.

    I think it also may have to do with their friends. Lets take my current girlfriend for instance. I don’t visit her page much because she’s always with me. If she has an ex boyfriend who checks up on her, and he clicks my link, that makes me come up on her profile as top friends. Just a thought?

  49. Chuck

    I want to clarify. I’m obsessed with the friends algorithm, not the girl.

  50. Thier

    I have a different question, maybe someone has an answer. You know that on the right side of your profile, it lists certain “people you might know” and saying which friends were mutual friends. At one time it showed someone with whom I “didn’t” have any mutual friends and I didn’t know this person at all, so how would this be possible?

  51. Klara

    I have 1809 friends, out of all of them, only 15 are showing each time I refresh the page. No matter how many times, they keep rotating. Some more than others, but always the same people. I refreshed my pages 15 times without one new face after I’d seen those 15. (Some came up even 12 times) That can’t be a coincidence. These are all people, except for one person, who I have spoken to and had contact with on facebook, but not all very recently. It was a bit weird though seeing who they were, if they are the people that visit my profile the most. ..

  52. Melisa

    How does Facebook decide which friends appear on my profile?
    Friends who you publicly interact with the most appear first on your profile. Examples of public interactions include Wall posts, comments and mutually attended events — Facebook will never show friends based on whose profiles you choose to view or who you interact with over messages and chat.

  53. soap

    So I definitely agree with MAA’s comment. I also think it has alot to do with people whom have posted photos of you or are tagged in the same photos as you! I was dating a girl recently and have now split we have no photos or any communication and we only have 3 friends in common on fb but are quiet close in ‘real life’. she is almost always in my top 6. the rest seem to be my good friends or people i have been on holidays with that i share photos with….. but then again they could be people that regularly visit my page. One thing I know is ITS NOT RANDOM.

  54. Rbots

    I think it’s people who’s profiles you look at the most, or people who look at you. There’s friends on my list who never appear, and there people I never talk to on facebook, and people who’s profiles I never look at.

  55. drake

    i really can’t imagine that it’s who views my profile the most. there are 4-5 that would make no sense at all. Maybe it’s just because nobody looks at my profile :(

  56. Samuel E. Kepper

    Being associated with IT and programming on FB for over 4 years, and lucidly understanding the algorithm of how FB generates top friends, allow me to speak on behalf of many intellects associated with FB and how they manage their web.

    Firstly, FB has recently changed its format completely to the new style, which also includes the most updated algorithm, and thankfully, is much less complicated and promising, and the information came across to my knowledge.

    The 10 friends who recurrently show up on your profile are a collection of friends FB chose from a select few of 15.

    Here is a list of how FB breaks down its “Friends” listing on your Profile:

    6 of whom you had most interactions with on FB, since your profile creation (including, wall posts, note / picture / video tags, comments, chats, but does NOT include how frequently you or your partner visits each others profiles).

    2 of whom you most frequently visit (whether browsing their profile, pictures, video, also known as what people call “stalk”) Note: That this is not who stalks you, but who YOU stalk.

    1 friend of a friend who you are tied close to, often from the select 6 of whom you have most interactions with. (eg. A girlfriend’s family member, or best friend’s crush etc.)

    1 completely random friend that FB will routinely change every 24 days. This friend may happen to be a friend you have recently had interactions with or a long lost buddy from back in the day.

    Frankly, FB does not disclose information on who follows you. Unfortunately, that is not part of how they play their rules pertaining to privacy, which all the more makes FB what they called “special”.

  57. Claire

    @Samuel E. Kepper

    I like the idea of this, but if that’s correct why do I have the same 4-5 people showing when I’ve never had any interaction with them and I never view their profiles?

  58. Dee

    I’ve noticed if its the same people showing it’s def not people that are somewhat stalking you. Cause some of the people that do show up on mine, are ones that dont even use facebook often. So I believe it are people that you have a lot of activity with such as tagged photos, wall posts, likes, anything really!

  59. MAA

    Apart from Facebook’s “rules pertaining to privacy”, Samuel E. Kepper’s description sounds reasonable.

    While it is interesting, from programming and decision-making points of view, to find out the real “how”, I feel that Facebook is not disclosing this for a reason. Else, they would have revealed this officially a while back (especially when they have detailed so many other “less-valuable” info.

    If someone’s really desperate to find out “how”, then just create 30 profiles, link them together and monitor the situation carefully (step by step). I must say, I wouldn’t suggest this approach. Instead just email Facebook and wait for a reply.

  60. MAA

    In fact, “2 of whom you most frequently visit (whether browsing their profile, pictures, video, also known as what people call “stalk”) Note: That this is not who stalks you, but who YOU stalk.”

    if this is true and others (who view your page) will see the same 10 (out of 15) which would of course include the above rule, this in itself is against “their rules pertaining to privacy”.

    It gives others the chance to find out whom that person’s been “stalking” – now, how does this differ, as far as conserving privacy is concerned, from showing people who “stalk” you? ;-)

  61. abby

    i’ve been wondering this for a while now.
    as of right now i’ve had the same friends show up all my profile all day but in a different order each time.
    i’ve had a few different people over the past few days but it seems to always be the same people who stay there for the most part.
    most of the people i know quite well but i don’t contact with through facebook which is the weirdest part.
    there has been times where the people i creep have been there, but a few people who i creep a lot have never been there.
    there is also a couple that i have a lot of pictures with, but there’s also people i have a lot of pictures with that have never been there.
    others seem to be random and quite possibly people who creep me.
    i disagree with the mutual friend thing though.
    it’s definitely not random!

  62. Random

    Ok, I have a crush on a friend, i looked at her profile a lot, but for the past 3 monts i created a fake profile to view her profile , so I stopped using mine to view hers,and she was always appearing on my friend list frequently, now that i have stopped looking at hers with my profile she never appears on my frined list anymore, she has recently started flirting with me a lot, and a close friend of hers has told me she likes me as well and now that i view her profile I appear on hers frequently , I also appear a lot in the friend list of 2 very close friends of mine who i know they view my page almost every day, so i agree is not random at all

  63. Mary

    Samuel’s answer is definitely interesting and seems so resonable, but left me with a question: if that rule is true, why it keeps appearing on my profile ( virtually every day,8 out of 10 times I refresh my profile) one friend whom I scarcely visit (twice a month, maybe or less)? I have noticed this because I am absolutely in love with him (so it baffles me everytime I see his picture on my profile), but refrain from watching his profile. We don’t have friends in common, we don’t interact at all, but he’s always there. Is there anyone who can explain this, providing the above rule apply?
    Thanks

  64. Sally

    It’s the people’s pages you visit most often. plain and simple.

    visit john doe’s page at least once a day then he shows up there. visit a 100 people everyday to see if anything changes and it will use the friends you visited before you tried to check and see if that works… because you will continue to visit their pages.

    it has nothing to do with who checks out your page and it is not random

  65. Mary

    I agree that is not random, but it can’t be people I visit the most because at least 8 out of 10 people that keep showing up are people I never, really never visit. Moreover, there are people I visit often who never show up. So, there must be a pattern, but it can’t be simply “people I visit” because it is clearly not that.

  66. Lea

    I don’t know what to think. I’m stalking this guy and he’s always on my profile page, while I’m never at his. We have 0 mutual friends. My other friends that appear are my stalkers, that’s positive. So what’s with this guy, why do I never appear on his page, and why is he always on mine and I’m the stalker? I guess we have our victims on our page also :)

  67. Lindsay

    Facebook is about the connections between people, not the people themselves. Just like on your news feed you get the most info from people you interact with, I think the friends list is that, too. I mean, generally, it’s likely randomizing the top people you are in contact with (ie. visiting their profile page, writing things, liking things, etc.). It’s two-fold, though. Likely they have the folks where it’s a 2-way street in communication, back and forth, between you and them, even if it’s not commenting. I think this probably also happens for the one-way street of communication, where you may not be paying attention to someone, but they are to you. All in all, I see the “top friends” as a way for Facebook to remind you of certain people, those people you have a higher chance of establishing concrete interactions with (ie. commenting, liking what they like) so that Facebook can gather more fleshed out and concrete information about you. It’s a social network, but it now has a purpose beyond communicating with friends – in the larger scheme, it is used to gather information about people for marketing purposes and who knows what else. My 2 cents.

  68. dubious

    As many on here, stalking is done by everyone in some shape of form. After reading most of these responses, (sorry if I miss this one), but all my friends and relatives and friends pages, all show the same 10 for at least 10 visits/refreshes. My guess is that it is a daily pick. I hope.

  69. Anom

    it is defiantly 100% who viewed your profile last, but it seems it has a lagg time. ive done some research and experiamented quite often.. i stalk a few certain people quite often and im always on top of their friend on their profile. Everytime i look at my profile my EX gf is on their 100% and i dont even talk to her anymore.. 90% is my bestfriend.. and 60% is one of my old old bestfriends. But i realized that if you go offline in your chatbox at the bottom that you will be anomynous, so if you check someones profile while offline you will not appear on their friends list. Also if a person is not your friend and goes to your profile from a link on one of your friends profile, that friend will show up as last visited.

  70. Anom

    End of discussion!!!

  71. Anom

    one more thing to add if your in a relationship that person will never be under your friendslist. but instead be under the in a relationship column

  72. Matt

    @Dan
    Ahh man, that made me laugh. And it’s true.

  73. iAMNOTASTALKER

    Well My ex has been showing up on my page but I do not show up on hers.. I dont go on her page THAT much…okay well maybe more often than others but I want to know if she views mines.. We are both in new relationships and we recently broke up and I think we both use facebook as a means to stay “connected” but we don’t have anything to say to each other. I cant see us being friends with each other anytime soon. She just is not a good person .SMH urgh…sorry for my ranting.

  74. iAMNOTASTALKER

    I think it is who views your page most. It has too. Its peope on my top who I don’t even talk too. I know them..but we are not friends and I dont have any reason to go on their page. I may look at their pictures once a month…not even that. Whether the friend shows up on your or the others profile will not reveal who is viewing who…but it certainly is linked to views more so than interactions. The people I interact with most NEVER show up.

  75. dasher

    I think is a combination of both , who sees your profile and whose profile you visit, because i recently have been testing, ive been checking out my cosins profile which she never showed up before and shes showing up a lot on my profile, and i know shes checking mine as well , she has told me so , and im on her as well, i know 2 other friend who view my profile almost everyday they show on mine a lot , a highschool chick which im trying to hook up with is on mine as well which i was friends with before but never was on my friends list , and she has told me about my fb pics recently so i know she views my profile a lot now shes on my profile as well, i check out hers a lot and im on hers too, so im pretty sure is combination of the 2, who “stalks” you and who do you “stalk” and obviously some other random

  76. Matt

    It’s weird, sometimes I’ll see a whole column of random people (aside from the usual suspects), but only briefly. I know that some people are looking at my page who never appear. This is purpose driven to make us mad.

  77. Andy

    i’m almost positive it’s a list of people who checked your webpage THAT day. which would be why it changes from day to day. it also explains why certain people show up often. people who check your page are likely to check it other days as well. you also get random people who just happen to be checking your page that day, but not usually.

  78. Jo

    It’s murphy’s law in action, which defeats every system, algorithym, procedure, program, thought process, or other universe of information engineered by man, and, thus, makes it random and completely nonsensical. The law is simply this: The consistency you desire to see in said universe will appear in direct proportion to the ratio of consistent inconsistency you exhibit in finding consistent proof of the consistency you seek. Why? Because like high pressure into low pressure existence prefers to fill a void.

  79. Tim

    It’s an algorithm like everything else in facebook, most likely the people you interact with the most and share friends with through to people who visit your page the most that you don’t interact with. Facebook is all about pressing people to make connections that will lead to new connections i.e. social networking and based upon there business model.

    So no it’s not as random as you might think or are lead to believe.

  80. Mel

    @Samuel E. Kepper
    Samuel’s explanation makes sense. That’s how my friend list appear on my fb. But how about the friends list of my friends? How come I appear on their friends list so often even I do not have any interactions. Does this mean that they often visit my page or because I visit their page?

  81. cupcakegirl16

    okay so I always have the same people appear on my friends list all the time and its freaky cuz i never look at them, but there is one person in particular who always shows up on my list. It’s this boy. He’s really cute and he is always n my list along with some of his friends. Does this mean he looks at my profile alot?? I really like him and i wanna know if he’s been viewing my profile alot. Although i view his profile alot and im never on his list…does that mean other people view him more than me?? can someone please reply cuz i really wanna know.

  82. Unpalatable

    This is probably a bit off topic. But if I check my own “mutual friends” by holding the cursor over my own name on one of my wall post,s the same 20 people seem to appear. My theory was that these were my most recent visitors.

    However, my “top friends” seem almost randomly picked.

    Anyone else noticed this?

  83. dash0007

    @cupcakegirl 1 to answer your question , is like this girl Linda posted on this website on 2010-12-14 she said :

    I agree with Emma.
    I have been stalking this guy that I have a crush on and I noticed that I appear as the first top 6 friends :(
    It’s quite embarrassing, but even if I “wait” to go I still end up showing up there.
    I’m thinking of creating a fake profile just to stalk that guy.

    the same thing happen to me , i know for a fact that a girl is stalking me , her friends have told me so and im always on her profile shes never on mine , a few months ago i had a crush on this girl and i was viewing her profile a lot, she kept appearing on my list but i was never on her, so i thing fb is secretely giving away who do we stalk

  84. Matt

    @Samuel E. Kepper
    …not at all consistent with the way my eyes see it.

  85. Matt

    In my case, I think it’s definitely who views your page most often or recently. Could they serving different algorithms to different profiles? If not, why?

  86. Dan TTTTTTT

    It is not random because my friend who was secretly going out with a guy on her page always showed up when I went to my friends page. Now that she is not seeing him anymore he all of a sudden does not appear on that list. However, he is still a friend. Now another guy alwaysssss shows up. Therefore, I know she is having an affair or going out with her ex husband’s accountant who is the new guy who shows up. She is a slut anyway so i am sure she is fucking his brains out.

  87. Samantha Dean
  88. Mary

    the official facebook explanation is not true: none (or maybe just one) of the people showed on my profile are people I publicily interact with; most of them I barely visit. I don’t know which is the true explanation, but certainly the official one is not true, and that’s what makes things intersting. I am more inclined to say that there is some randomness than to think that it’s “people you most interact with”. I never interact with people showed n my profile. Weird really.

  89. Mel

    One of the theories is that if you are always offline, it will take random people. If you are online while you are stalking, it will show whom you were stalking.
    @Mary : When you visit someones’ page are you online or offline?

  90. Mary

    This can be a also theory, but I am always online when on facebook, never bother going offline. And it keeps showing mostly people I never visit, not to mention publicily interact with.

  91. heather

    I don’t believe it’s actually random. I think Facebook tallies up how often people comment or post on your wall. The one who does the most, shows up first. Either that or tallies your posts/comments on others’ walls. Either way, it’s plain rude to do and hurts feelings. Why would anyone really do that to their friends? And yes, I always show up on my friends’ list. I post/comment a lot. I still won’t do it to my friends.

  92. gwen

    I think its the people who most recently have viewed your profile. I just refreshed 10x in a row in one minute. Same people showed up but in different order. No one new.

    Then, I just refreshed after 5 minutes. One new person came into rotation, perhaps because they just checked my shit!

  93. shane

    strait from the FB website.

    “We highlight your friend list.
    By default, a changing selection of friends always appears under the “Friends” heading in the left column of your profile. The selection includes many friends who you publicly interact with the most. Examples of public interactions include Wall posts, comments and mutually attended events — Facebook will never show friends based on whose profiles you choose to view or who you interact with over messages and chat.”

  94. goog

    for me it definitely shows 4-5 people I’ve been checking out, there are couple that are showing up that I’ve been interacting with publicly and the rest are same 4 people that just always seem to show up every day.

    I think you can fairly certainly say that it shows profiles that have had interacted, ie you check the profile few times in a week and them too. I always get people that I check out showing up. In fact I don’t even leave a comment or anything, the more silently checking out happens, the more % probability it’ll show their profile on my page.
    This sucks!
    It’s like the push you to look at the other profiles too so that yer not stocking!

    I dunno about the “random” 4 people, they don’t seem to be that random as they frequently show up as my top friends (every couple of weeks for 3-4 days straight), I never even looked at their profile so.. I dunno maybe they are obsessed?!

    It’s a shame really. I can’t believe they show in your profile the people you’re checking out, they promised they wouldn’t do it! And the fact that they do is absolute!!

  95. dasher007

    totally agree with goog, if you check someone elses profiles regularly it will start showing up in your page, i have tested it with many of my friends, im always on a girls profile who i know has a crush on me, shes never on mine, i rarely check her profile, but friends of her have told me she checks mine a lot to see what my gf post on my wall, also i check a lot one of my friends profile, hes always on mine and many friends have told me the same thing happens to them, as soon as they “stalk” someone it starts showing up on their friend list

  96. Emma

    I was wondering this too.. but i think i found the answer:

    “By default, a changing selection of friends always appears under the “Friends” heading in the left column of your profile. The selection includes many friends who you publicly interact with the most. Examples of public interactions include Wall posts, comments and mutually attended events — Facebook will never show friends based on whose profiles you choose to view or who you interact with over messages and chat.”

    Thats from the facebook website! :)

  97. spy1

    I am kinda stalking this guy and whenever we sent messages, I appear on HIS friend’s list. One girl who likes him a lot suddenly appeared on top of his friends list right after we sent messages, so I told him to say hi to her. True enough, he did say they just interacted with messages after we did! the true sequence appears when you view your friends profile the first time after you log in. The more you click his profile, the more random his friend’s list becomes. I also noticed his name appears on top of the girl’s list he recently sent messages with…but like I’ve said, the sequence is only true the first time you view someone’s profile. This is to find out who your friend recently interacted with, not who “stalks you”…I haven’t studied that one yet :) helpful if you wanna know if your partner is cheating on you LOL!!

  98. lights

    I noticed that too! There are a few people that are ALWAYS in my box. One of them is this guy I have a crush on. I can’t stop looking at his profile, it’s really sick of me. So that’s why I think it’s actually who’s profile you view the most, and then maybe some random people? I don’t think he’s stalking me, that’d be too good to be true.

  99. dasher007

    totally agree with goog, spy1 and lights, thers a chick whos stalking me know it for a fact and im always on her friend list shes never on mine, i rarely view her profile but when i do check im always on her list.

  100. gallow-b

    People who’s profile’s I’ve most viewed recently (mainly because I was tagged in their photo albums and wall posts and I post comments) and my ex who I always view almost everytime I log in, shows me in their “random” friends list. And the people who I have tagged most in my wall posts and photo albums, including my ex, shows in my “random” friends list. So I guess it’s not so random after all.

    Lights, I think the guy you’re always viewing is also always looking at your profile. Try checking if you’re on his profile friends list…

  101. Kevin

    I agree with Dan, i dont believe it’s random because i refreshed my facebook page 10 times and it was the same people, the order of how they were shown only changed. I then even resorted to going to other websites and coming back to facebook and it was the same people in my friends list. My list shows 10 friends and out of the 10, I only visit 3 regularly, the other 7 were old friends and newly added people who i have never visited, or i stopped visiting there pages, The 3 that i visit are also more likely to visit my page often. The other aspect is that i barely use facebook and i dont interact with most of the people on my list, I think that the people who appear are the ones who stalk you the most. I am going to confirm this by spam visiting people i dont talk to.

  102. Jackie

    Here’s Facebook’s answer:
    http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=771
    Click on “Which friends appear in the left column of my profile?”

  103. voicedrone

    guys you are sick :| facebook illness :)

  104. Right

    C’mon guys, I think just by mindless observation you can see these are not random.

  105. Baffled

    I don’t know. My ex seems to be on it periodically but I NEVER go on his profile. Ever. I forced myself to get out of that habit since…October 2010…and it’s almost May 2011. We haven’t contacted each other on facebook since … January so I really don’t think the people who show up on the left of your profile are specifically the people who you “stalk.” I agree that it may be a combination but not completely. Like right now, this girl who I don’t go to check her profile ever just showed up on my list but she also posted on my wall. Two or three have CONSTANTLY been on my list recently and I have not interacted with recently. I don’t know. I think that they show the general ones you’ve interacted/interact with the most/sort of, and others who most recently went on your profile.

    I did notice this: click on your friendlist and the very first thing FB does is show you, alphabetically, your friends BUT when you click the option of viewing your friends NOT as a list (lol, sorry, I don’t know the technical term), you will see the not-so-random order your friends are in. Try it out.

  106. Baffled

    or, could it be FB wants me to reconnect? lol.

    I don’t know. I’m going to try going to someone SUPER random and see what happens. I’ll come back to tell you about it in a week.

  107. Elizabeth

    From the Facebook Help Centre:

    We highlight your friend list.
    By default, a changing selection of friends always appears under the “Friends” heading in the left column of your profile. The selection includes many friends who you publicly interact with the most. Examples of public interactions include Wall posts, comments and mutually attended events — Facebook will never show friends based on whose profiles you choose to view or who you interact with over messages and chat.

  108. 21

    @Enya
    I agree with Dan as well, I have checked several times on numerous websites and they really do say that it’s random. However, after experimenting with this myself, I have noticed that people who I suspect have a crush on me or who I generally talk to often seem to show up WAY more than those who don’t. It seems as if those who you would expect to view your profile often or after seeing them in your friends and would be able to say, “hmm, I could see them visiting my page frequently”, are the ones who show up. I do indeed believe it is a way of telling who visits your profile the most frequent without Facebook directly sharing it with us. If it was “RANDOM”, then why is it that out of 1000 friends, the same 12 or so are the ones who rotate in the friends box? Obviously to believe it is random is quite illogical.

  109. DB

    It is random but not distributed uniformly over all facebook friends. Some are much more likely to appear than others.

    One way to test whether it is freinds who stalk, is to find some profiles that you never visit, and you aren’t in their top 10 list. Visit there profile several times a day for a week, and see if you begin to appear in the top 10… I may try that this week.

  110. dasher007

    @DB try it, i already tried it and what happens is that the profiles u start to visit to test it are the ones who end up showing in your friend list, you dont show up on their list, i already tried it, fb shows up who do u stalk on your fb list, obviously some are random, other might be one who stalk you ,but as soon as u start viewing someones profile regularly then it will show up on ur list u dont show up on their list, already test it myself and also other friends.

  111. daringhart13

    ^^so I’ve looked at my ex girlfriends site several times a day. At one point a couple of days ago, I was at the top of her Random Friends list… based on your test, does that mean she is looking at ME?

    I can’t figure this out….I do look at her page…sometimes she is on mine (like tonight)…..I don’t want to look at her page to see if I’m on hers.
    Something is definitely going on….I’m most interested in finding out if she is looking at mine…all these responses seem to differ….

  112. dasher007

    @daringhart13, i dont have the answer cause no one really knows,like u were saying all answers seem to differ and i also have my doubts, the answer ill give you is based on my experience, before, i looked at a girls profile which i had a crush on regularly and she was always on my list i was never on hers, i was the “stalker” so she started to show up on my list, i recently (like 2 or 3 weeks ago) stopped looking at her profile , now shes gone from my list, I looked at 2 friends profiles all days to test they started to show up on my list, I was never on their list, im always in my gf list and i know she looks my profile daily , so from what ive tested if you are on her list its possibly because shes looking at your profile.

  113. tommymsw

    Well I refreshed my page 20 times and I got the EXACT same people in different order. I know I get different people from time to time and many of them seem to be the same but a few of the regular ones I get I am positive I never go to their page and they never go to mine. I think it is just a mystery designed to drive us crazy!

  114. daringhart13

    Thanks Dasher…..much appreciated.

    She has been on my page all day…and I haven’t looked at hers…. I don’t want to because I’m testing to see if she looks at mine. She did post a cryptic message that no one has replied to….and I’m wondering if it was meant for me….

    She has been on my page all day in different order….but there. I guess that makes me the stalker. I was hoping SHE was LOL

  115. Weirdo

    This is interesting. One of my 10 friends is the guy I like, two are two my good friends who post app requests on my wall (Restaurant City), another is my so-so friend, and the rest are classmates. Random classmates. Some I don’t even talk to.

  116. ted

    Yes, I agree that it”s the people whom visit your site the most. However, within that group its random. For example say you have 20 people that visit you page everyday. The group of 6 is randomly drawn from the group that visits your page.

    I’ve also seen something similar with the facebook search.

  117. Ness

    something that happened to me was that there is person that i do not want to add to my list of friends, but when i type a similar name then the person appears, on the sugested friends there is always in first place that person, on the comments the only person that apears is that person too, I think facebook tries to show u who u havent added to make the facebook-net more compact, i think maybe the region or country where u live makes the facebook decide

  118. Ernie

    Its definitely not random, but the reason why if you refresh the page 100 times in a day facebook only rotates through a small fraction of your total friends is because however this list is made up, while it may change in order throughout a day, it only changes in content every few days or so.

  119. Reg

    Not totally random. Mine suggests people I have music in common with. Example: the Beatles. When it gets bored with that ‘list’, it moves on to people I graduated school with and runs through that for a few days. What’s scary is when it brings up former love interests with whom I share no music, school or mutual friends!

  120. Love

    Hmm, i agree with all the post which said its NOT random, cause i notice the same thing too. but the thing is, the person i stalks appears on my profile but not on his profile. :\ so i really wanna noe but could’nt get the truth of this FB thingi lools.

  121. Will

    @Lucy

    I just did the same test (out of 515 friends) and legitimately got the exact same friends just in different orders. As well, most of the people on list also had recent activity in my news feed. So im not sure if they looked at my profile or simply had the most recent activity…

  122. Sarah

    There is a lot that doesn’t make sense about the algorithm that dictates “shown friends”. Yes, it seems to rotate through a small number of friends. I have 562 friends and I only see about 30 that rotate. Some are my best friends who I interact with often both on facebook and off and I know for a fact that they view my profile frequently, are tagged with me in many pictures, and have many mutual friends. This tells me nothing, too many variables. For the past month or so I did not spend much time on facebook as I started a new job and when I did go on, I did not go looking at other people’s pages, close friends or otherwise. So assuming the “stalking” algorithm is based on recentness, none of my “shown friends” should be shown based on MY stalking THEM. Here is what my list shows: A few (about 3) friends frequently pop up who I recently became friends with on facebook but have no interaction with. We do not have many mutual friends, or pictures together and I have no reason to think that they are “stalking” me. I have no explanation for their appearance other than that they are recent “friend acquisitions” There are also a few friends (about 4 or 5) that I interact with a lot outside of facebook but have little to no interaction with them on facebook. I do not have any recent pictures with these people or a particularly high number of mutual friends with them. But clearly, facebook knows that I am “close” with these people. What is it? One of them I flirt with often outside of facebook and it is possible that he frequents my page. However, another rarely even logs onto facebook and I seriously doubt that when he is on facebook, he visits my page. Again, I don’t “stalk” these people. Then there are complete randoms that I see often. There is one girl that I have seen for the past few months come up on my “shown friends” every few days. She is an old friend from years back that I never interact with, have no pictures with and have little mutual friends with. I have no reason to think she “stalks” me. Why does she constantly reappear? There is also a guy who lives in a different country, has only 3 mutual friends with me and has 1 picture with me from a while back. I do not think he frequents my page yet he still constantly shows up on my list. Clearly, much does not make sense. However there are some things that do make sense. An old friend has made several posts to my wall recently, although I do not think he “stalks” me. He has been on my “shown friends” list quite a bit as of late. Also, I was recently tagged in some old pictures with friends that I do not interact with on facebook, these people have come up a bit on my list, their only recent connection to me being those pictures. We have all established that the “shown friends” list is not random, but what is it? The algorithm is still far from being deciphered.

  123. Victoria

    I get the same people, even when i refresh. No random here, it has been the same.

  124. Swoosh

    I know it is not random, but something funny happens to me these days. I have a girlfriend which our relationship is mostly based on long distance relationship, so we have only 13 mutual friends. In the past few days we had a huge fight and now we are recovering from it. But today I refreshed my page 10 times, and for all those 10 times, I had her and four of her friends, 3 of my semi-interacted non-mutual friends, and 2 best facebook mates (non-mutual). I have stalked her profile also recently, but maybe just twice a day, cause I was busy working and could get online on facebook. the funny thing is I refreshed her page 10 time, and the result was same 10 friends, which I do not have them in my friend list, without myself!

  125. badbaker

    Nothing seems to quite fit. I have close to 5000 friends, including may people who have added me over the years whom I have no idea who they are. But my list is almost all people whom I know personally, and it’s usually a rotating group of the same people. The exception is that there are several people whom I have no idea who they are, yet they always pop up on a rotating basis on this list, but never more than one or two at a time. These people rotate as well.

    Now, there is one profile that I look at constantly. Several times a day, easy. Now I have definitely showed up in that person’s friends list, usually on a rotating basis, but pretty consistent. However, that person has not ONCE shown up in mine. We rarely communicate via sending messages, and almost never post on each others walls or send “likes.” But I always show up on their list. Granted they have only around 300 friends as opposed to my almost 5+ so the law of averages comes into effect here.

    On the other hand, there is another person whom I have almost no interaction on my part. I never look at their profile, never send messages, never look at photos. Yet this person I know is CONSTANTLY looking at my profile. I know this because pretty much everything I post on my page (and I’m pretty active) gets commented and / or liked by said person. Yet again, this person NEVER shows up in my friends.

    So I don’t know if that ads credence to either the “random” or “calculated” argument. It’s just what I’ve noticed.

  126. nana

    @Chuck
    @ Chuck.Funny.

    I definately don’t think it’s random. I have been testing this theory. Also, I don’t think we see the same friends on our friends pages that they see. Every account is personal to that user.

  127. Ryan

    I only read into this today =/
    but, I have noticed in the past (since the update thing) that the same kind of people always showed up and some still do.
    it has changed over the months (obvs) but i can understand why some would there recently, as they either have some things in common – such as same university, same course, recent outings etc… even if we dont talk on fb
    One thing I do wonder is, there are people on there that make me think “Why on Earth would THEY be visiting / stalking MY profile?” (i mean that in the nice way lol) … It leaves this one slightly confused =/

  128. Ryan

    I hope it shows alleged “stalkers” though … Could be used to some advantage :D

  129. someone

    I believe it is who view your profile most because only 9 people show up on mine no matter if I refresh it and they are all people who I would suspect to look at my profile but are defiantly not the people I view most

  130. Bea

    maybe sumone should do like a test to really check it out? the ones with a background in it, math and all that stuff so we can figure out this mystery. im very curious.. im willing to participate if you need help. i got no idea with algorithms, percentage or ratios but this is one thing i wanna figure out for real. maybe someone like Sheldon cooper from Big bang theory should solve thi

  131. Boethius

    It’s definitely not random, but I think it’s more people you’ve interacted with. That’s what Facebook says.

    But, although people have said it isn’t stored or cached or whatever when you visit someone’s profile, that just doesn’t make sense, as there are a few on my list, and I’m on a couple of theirs, that I barely ever interact with over Facebook, only text.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if these people were stalking me either, so I reckon it’s got something to do with that!

    But also, it probably is some people you interact with, commenting on pages, but out of the list of 1-People you interact with i.e. write on wall, 2- People you stalk and 3- People who stalk you, Facebook randomly chooses some of these and that is why the list differs, but the same people come up time and time again.

    I love the idea of knowing my stalkers -.^

  132. Boethius

    Oh and these girls I text are fit :L so I stalk them. Perhaps they stalk me too…

  133. Boethius

    Facebook help says:
    We highlight your friend list.
    By default, a changing selection of friends always appears under the “Friends” heading in the left column of your profile. The selection includes many friends who you publicly interact with the most. Examples of public interactions include Wall posts, comments and mutually attended events — Facebook will never show friends based on whose profiles you choose to view or who you interact with over messages and chat.

    K so it says it ‘doesn’t show whose profiles YOU choose to view’… But does it say it doesn’t show who chooses to show your profile? Nope, it doesn’t. Also they said it ‘include wall posts, comments etc.’ which implies it is more than that. THEREFORE IT COULD STILL BE PEOPLE WHO STALK YOU. Facebook is keeping a secret here.

    I think we’re on to something here!

  134. Laurenz

    Eight of ten friends shown mercilessly for weeks on end with 440 other friends never shown. Now THAT’S what I call random. About as puzzling as FB suggesting friends and then warning us against making a friend request. With all rheir billions, maybe they could hire one person to surf the web and address primary end-user issues on sites like this.

  135. kaypster

    I wondered about this – I regularly check out my boyfriend’s profile (a couple of times a day – sad I know!) and have done for the last 5 months because he lives overseas and I never show up on his friend’s list. So, it can’t be who checks out your profile regularly. Then I thought, maybe it shows who you check out regularly, but he never shows up on my friends list and his profile is the one I look at most by plenty! … I thought maybe other people see a different list than you do, and that you just dont show up on people’s list when you look at it yourself. So, I have an alter-ego facebook page for work, and I logged into that, and the lists are the same on his and on mine as they were when I look at them logged in as myself (and my alter-ego page is not friends with myself or with him). So, I have no idea how these people are selected. When I look at the list on my profile yeah theres a couple of people who might look at my profile, 1 or 2, but I dont look at any of theirs on any regular basis. I think there is a selected group, but Im not sure on what basis they are selected, then a few others that are randomly selected. The answer – NO ANSWER

  136. Barbara

    I agree with Dan and others who have said the friends displayed are not random. They are absolutely not. I get the same bunch everytime I check my page and they are not people I interact with on a regular basis. I don’t want to feature people but I would really like it if facebook would make the friend display rotate randomly. I think a lot of others would too. Hopefull they will change this. It’s silly to have the same people to appear day in and day out especially if they are not close contacts.

  137. Barbara

    Elizabeth :From the Facebook Help Centre:
    We highlight your friend list.By default, a changing selection of friends always appears under the “Friends” heading in the left column of your profile. The selection includes many friends who you publicly interact with the most. Examples of public interactions include Wall posts, comments and mutually attended events — Facebook will never show friends based on whose profiles you choose to view or who you interact with over messages and chat.

    Thanks for posting this but it is definitely not what is happening on my profile.

  138. Barbara

    Laurenz :Eight of ten friends shown mercilessly for weeks on end with 440 other friends never shown. Now THAT’S what I call random. About as puzzling as FB suggesting friends and then warning us against making a friend request. With all rheir billions, maybe they could hire one person to surf the web and address primary end-user issues on sites like this.

    Similar situation here, same people over and over and they are not even close contacts. Great suggestion. Unfortunately until that one person is hired FB isn’t going to see it!

  139. Bob

    I thought that it was random to. But, I went and asked the people that showed up on my facebook. And they said that they did look at my profile that day. And the people on there don’t change every time I go back to my profile. Maybe one person we be gone. But, they might of been at the bottom of the list. So when someone else viewed it. It kicked the other person out. Just a thought.

  140. Jey

    I completely agree with Dan and everyone else that the profile friends has to do with STALKERS. So I did a test myself using my friends profile. I stalked myself for two days. Clicked pictures, looked through posts, etc… Nothing generated. She did not show up on my STALKER list. I am a Computer Science major so I begin to think about different ways FB might be doing this. Today I noticed that majority of the people that showed up on my list the last two days was missing one person that kept coming up. I can’t think of why he wouldn’t, when he was there the whole time like everyone else. However, there is a new person coming up each time so it must have kicked him off. I did chat with him yesterday too, so maybe after we interacted then he no longer appeared.

    So this puzzled me of course, as everyone else. Then I got to thinking. Maybe the algorithm has to do with our IP address. If I am conducting this “stalking” via my own IP address, the test may not generate anything. This is only if the algorithm connects the stalker with their IP address, then they remain on the list. And then another thought came up, What if it is the amount of times one looks at the person’s profile?

    In regards to the person that is no longer on there, yet was there for days at a time. It through me for a loop! We chatted and he was gone off my “stalker” list the next day. Is this because he didn’t look at my page today? Or is it because someone else looked at my page more times than he did? Or is it because the algorithm recognized that we communicated and the stalker should be at ease for awhile? …. Hmmm…

  141. Alice

    Hi, I am finding this odd too.
    I have refreshed my page so many times, same 15 friends over and over and over. Signed in on my boyfriends profile to look at my own, same friends list.

    It does seem to be many of the people that I tend to look at myself, such as my housemates or people I find interesting. People I chat to dont actually seem to come up, so I dont think its about interaction in that respect. My housemates I dont really speak to on FB, as we live together so no need!

    However, I have been finding that I tend to look at one person in particular a LOT, like almost every time I log on (person who used to annoy me lots, so i see what shes up to all the time… how sad!) everytime they put something up I look through it. And it seems as soon as I do that they appear on my list so maybe it is generating the people I view?

    Yet I have people on my list who also ive not looked at for a while, but keep reappearing, which makes me think that they are looking at my profile? And plus my housemates tell me often that they look at my profile too, so this therefore seems to be telling me the friends list is people that look at me?!

    In this case, I have a look on the person I stalk tons profile, but I am nowhere on their 15 friend list… surely I should be on there if i always look at their profile?! – which again makes it seem that its actually people I view not who views me…

    I am so confused! I’m not particularly sure I would like all the people I view hanging up on my profile for all to see like some kind of pleb…

    I’m going to try looking at someones profile I never look at for a week when I log in, and see if it ends up on mine or their profile, to figure this out once and for all.

    Its definitely not based on interaction on your wall, its not based on your chatlogs or messages nor is it at all random. It is either who you view or who views you. FB lie. I am going to investigate.

  142. Reg

    Bob, thanks for saying that these people admitted that they looked at your profile without having to second guess f/b. This confirms “stalkers” will turn up under friend suggestions/people you may know. Thanks for posting that!

  143. Lindsey

    IT IS NOT RANDOM! Every time I try to view my page, it is usually always the same 12-20 people. Though, these few people show up in a random order. There has to be something to it, considering this same circle of friends shows up every time. All of them are people I frequently talk to or comment on or have them comment on me. It’s really strange. However, the people I “stalk” most never show up, so it must be people who have recently view your page or recently interacted with you.

  144. Christoverde

    The left column of your profile may display different types of people in your life:

    We highlight your friend list.
    By default, a changing selection of friends always appears under the “Friends” heading in the left column of your profile. The selection includes many friends who you publicly interact with the most. Examples of public interactions include Wall posts, comments and mutually attended events — Facebook will never show friends based on whose profiles you choose to view or who you interact with over messages and chat.

    Source: https://www.facebook.com/help/new/?page=771

  145. Jey

    I’m sorry Christoverde, but that just doesn’t add up. There are many people on my left column friend list that I don’t interact with all the time. Just the same, there are many friends I interact with very frequently that don’t show up on my left column friend list at all. FB is just trying to cover themselves for any legalities.

  146. pam

    okay so the whole random thing is BS… my ex shows up everytime i refresh my profile page, now its not like its people you frequently talk to because i havent talked to him in a while… and i really just want to know why? someone said it was who views your page the most and if thats true my ex needs a life! lol
    no but really its strange i get the same 3 people evertime mixed with a couple new people in which commented or liked my most recent post. out of the 700+ friends i have the same ones come up everytime

  147. Boethius

    If you look at the Facebook help centre info about it, they have been rather vague. When it says ‘The selection includes’ that gives the impression that they haven’t said all that it shows.

    Other than public interaction, I can’t think of anything else that they haven’t stated that would come up on the side of your wall other than those who view your profile.

    Frankly, it seems to good to be true, but it does make a lot of sense.

  148. slicerrr

    ok so if it is those who stalk your profile then im being stalked by the man i love and also his best mate.. hahaha

  149. Reg

    Jey… thank you. It’s good to know something from a cs major.

  150. Lisa

    OK bare with me people. I think I’ve figured out the facebook “random” friends list. I checked that if you view your friend’s friend list on two different profiles, it will show two completely different lists even though no matter how many times you refresh it, it will still be the same people only in different spots on the list. I’ve concluded that this list is indicated by the friends YOU’VE stalked/communicated with from the account you’re logged on to. I’m almost 99.9% positive that this is true. Now as for the friends on your own list, I believe that it’s people who views your page often and also throw in one or two random people in to make the “random” friend list less suspicious :P

  151. @Rene
    Its really sad that what you wrote has not been even commented on….I agree with you. You choose who to put on your profile and who not to. But, out of those lists, it picks a certain few based on some algorithm…maybe … the other algorithms discussed here are right,maybe….

    Still, that was a really good result you came across :)

  152. matt

    I think it’s the people who are most secretly in love with you.

  153. nikki

    I know it’s not random, and can’t be who you contact the most, or contacts you the most. I interact with by kids the most of anyone on my list-and they contact me- and they NEVER show up on my list, and I don’t show up on theirs. Either way, I find this very annoying that the same 15 or so people constantly show up.

  154. I only took an interest in it last night and because of it done a tiny bit of research.
    It’s clearly not random. I’ve discovered I have 10 – 15 people it shows over and over again. However it changes the order in which it shows them.

    It’s most definitely not who you have the most contact with because 2 or 3 of them I haven’t contacted in ages. Another 2 or 3 I contact every so often. I must admit I’ve seen more people this morning than I saw last night. Last night I had 10 people just changing order, now there’s another 5 maximum.

    So the algorithm for it is hard to decipher.

    I can also say it’s definitely not the people with the most mutual friends as I have around 100 mutual friends with some people who just don’t pop up at all.

    Of course, we can’t forget we have a ‘Family’ tab in there too. None of my ‘family’ members appear in my friends list at all, and some people who used to appear in my friends list (who are now in my Family list) no longer appear either.

    I think in Facebook’s code they’ve got a lot of if statements and quite a lot of code to decipher the algorithm for it all.

  155. Mandy

    Oh my god. Facebook did it. I am living proof. There’s this guy whose profile I am CONSTANTLY viewing. I have over 500 friends and the same 20-ish people rotate. These are people who I have a lot of pictures tagged with, and who I have a lot of contact with.

    Facebook always said that they would NEVER base it on how many times you view someone’s profile. But there is one person who shows up over and over and over again on my featured friends. I RARELY ever interact with this person on facebook and have 0 pictures tagged with them.

    However… I am constantly looking at this person’s profile. Spread the word. FACEBOOK’S ALGORITHM DOES TAKE PROFILE VIEWS INTO CONSIDERATION!!!!!!!

    D,:

  156. After leaving it for a little while I can now see more people, that I have no interaction with, appear in my friends list. Looking now, I can see 5 new people who weren’t appearing last time I looked. I’ve not had any interaction with these 5 people at all. I’ve probably viewed only 2 of these profiles too…

    Really curious as to how Facebook goes about getting the first 10 – 20 people to display, but I’ve absolutely no idea right now …

  157. Rafael

    I’ve had this question for a long time. I have a brother but is not listed as Family, we have more than 300 mutual friends. I agree with the “Stalker hypothesis” on the aspect that people who you look at show up on your own friend list but not on the stalked victim friend list. We do not show up very often on each other’s pages very often. We started a little experiment, I will go on his profile and keep track of the friends that show up on his page as he “stalks” a friend’s profile that we have not had contact with in over a year. We are also counting how many visits it takes until my brother’s “victim” shows up on his list and my brother will be tracking how many visits it takes for him to show up on her page. We will do this at the same time the same amount of times.

    We also agree with Jey and Dan. It is both who you “stalk” and who stalks you; with more weight given to who you stalk. Basically… People that stalk you will show your picture in their “friend list”.

    This is sooo silly hahaha I cant believe we’re doing this! But the world must know!!!! lol

  158. Team Chicago

    We treat Facebook like if we were scientists lol jaja
    But yeah, I noticed this long time ago and I did post about this issue but seems like nobody was interested.

    There’s are girls who I think have a huge crush on me (they have partners)…they appear the most in my Friend box…

    There’s also a group of other females who I also know have a crush on me (most of them are single) and for the most part..they almost never show up…

    I’ve been stalking a girl a lot (her pictures, but I never comment her pics nor her wall)…and neither does her…but she appears the most of all…the other day i saw her and she was telling me of the things I’ve posted in my wall (Even thought she never ever commented them)…how did she knew everything about my status? if she seems dead to me, because she never likes my statuses, comments, etc….

    In other words it seems like she’s been stalking my page a lot, and I also stalk hers…We don’t like each others statuses, pics, walls, etc….because she has a boyfriend but since High school, I’ve always knew she was a stalker since our Myspace days…lol….she is cute, I’m attractive…o there’s a grat posibilty about Dan’s theory…

  159. Team Chicago

    you should also consider the number of friends…
    the people who you’ve always suspected have a crush on you
    the time he/she spends on facebook (some people are almost always on, iPhone, cellphones, etc…but most of them appear Off-line….so that people won’t tell them that they should get a life) lol

    But the cute/awesome girl I was telling you about almost always appears Off-line but when I click her message button (instead of appearing as text message it appears as an Instant message option…stating that she is ONLINE but she is hidden herself)

    Plus I also knew she was online, because she kept posting things like “I’m Bored”, “Can’t go outside, have to stay home”…what does this mean?? that she was at home and bored and had nothing else but to stalk me, my pics, my likes, etc..and when I saw her she totally knew everything about me…and whenever I posted something on my wall…and I looked at hers, it was almost like if was replying me…(ex) Me on my Wall: “Damn this girl looked hot at staples, hey people listen to this song”

    Her wall: “I could care less, you probably think this song is about you”

    and to make it less obvious, I also think Facebook also brings Random people

  160. Chuck Norris

    By default, a changing selection of friends always appears under the “Friends” heading in the left column of your profile. The selection includes many friends who you publicly interact with the most. Examples of public interactions include Wall posts, comments and mutually attended events — Facebook will never show friends based on whose profiles you choose to view or who you interact with over messages and chat.

  161. Elizabeth

    @Dan
    I totally agree! Just figured this out about a month ago. Some of my friends are convinced as well, but still some continue to think it’s completely random. I think they may just be scared of the truth!

  162. Cman

    I am not sure how the they appear, but I noticed that last night a friend had the same rotating team of friends appearing, today slightly different one but still a team rotating.. 2-3 people have changed out of the 8-team that appears

  163. Enyo

    I JUST FIGURED PART OF IT OUT! I was refreshing my page a billion times like you guys said and I saw the same people. BUT THEN, someone invited me to an event, and all I did was click on the event page. Now the creators of the event show up when I refreshed the page again.

  164. jainy

    To me it is clearly those that I interact with the most, with 2 or 3 randoms thrown in. I don’t use facebook that much and everyone on my top list was someone who I had talked to or liked their post or something like that. THAT IS IT!! You guys are making a mountain out of a mole-hill.

  165. I think enyo is into something. Also I see that the people showing up is persons I used to check out almost every day for about 6-12 months ago. So my guess is that facebook notices that you used to check them out, but you aren’t anymore. My guess is that they think “Hmm, those guyes used to be friends, but it seems like they aren’t anymore. Lats get them back in contact”. What do you think about the idea?

  166. Joel

    I think its stalkers too.

    but try this.

    Make a fake facebook account , stalker your own page with it for about a week , and see what happens :)

  167. Pain

    May b it depends on which one loads first from the database and therefore arrange it in that order…………

  168. Scooby

    This Thread is prob gonna go on forever!! But me thks i found out why & how friends or shell i call them Stalkers appear in the top ten !! Try this yourself & me bet it works?

    Click on the person you think is stalking you , Then look at their Top ten list , you shouldn’t appear in their Top ten list not unless you’ve been stalking them too , Then refresh your web browser on their facebook page ,

    I bet any money you’ll appear at the Top of their friends if they’ve looked at your page recently (within say 1 hr) if its been longer like a few more hrs i think you’ll appear further down their Top ten friends .

    Now Try the same thing with somebody you know who don’t stalk your page , no matter how many times you refresh the web browser you won’t appear in their Top Ten Friends :)

    I can’t be a 100% about this but i’m sure it happens. coz it happing to me with this woman i use to go out with ,& i find it quite embarrassing to be honest! tht i’m appearing at the top or in her top ten when i’m suppose to be showing her i’m not interested no mores by not talking to her To try & win her back! Its coz i’m clicking her page & she’s clicking on mine , before we stopped speaking i never use to appear in her Top Ten. And around the time of day we use to talk i’m appearing at the top of her friends list when i refresh her page.

    plz can somebody confirm this for me so me don’t think me is paranoid !

  169. Matt2

    I’ve been studying my friends’ lists for a while. Out of all the suggestions here, Kepper’s explanation seems to fit the best.

  170. AlissT

    @MAA
    That’s it, for sure! A combination. It must include at least one, maybe two people who have the most mutual friends, one or two who just visited your page, and definitely one or two with the most interaction via email and comments. There’s not just one factor, and it’s not random. Perhaps some of it could even be due to groups you’re in. It’s probably a rotating mishmash of various specific factors that changes once a week or something. Why even debate it any longer??! This thread is gigantic! :D

  171. its the people who looked at your profile last, and when you refresh it , it doesnt give different people , it just changes the order until someone else looks at your profile

  172. Milly

    I’ve been looking at this for a while and this is my conclusion. Friends on the left (LSB10) are the person you interact with and of course your stalkers show up there sometimes. BUT, the thing is, they won’t show up there if you didn’t interact on fb publically together at least once. Because of that, the people you see on the left are rarely people you don’t care about at all, except for some random (1 of 10). In a way, it’s brilliant because both of you showed, in the past or actually, interest for each other by a public interaction. This interest being mutual and public, Facebook figure out that it’s ok to show this person on your page (there’s no privacy issues there since both of you participate publically in this relation). The frequency of time you see this person on your LSB10 is, I think, based (in part) by the profile visit/online statue etc.. but you must at least have a public interaction with this person . (Except for the random)

    On the other hand, MO5 and RESEARCH BAR (mostly the research bar in the privacy setting) are much more revealing because you see sometimes people you don’t visit or interact with at all, people who don’t seem to fit (for my situation often ex’s I really don’t follow on fb or guys I’m not interested in but I know could have a little crush on me or at least be curious about me). So because of that, I think the MO5 (who is private actually) is a MIX of the people you see on the friend list on the left (LSB10) + people looking at your profile (stalkers). The friends you see on the MO5 (the one you DON’T EVER interact with – stalkers) have good chance to be people you don’t really care about since you don’t interact with them, and so it’s no big deal, it’s just funny to know it.

    BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN IF YOU CRUSH SHOW UP ON THE MO5 or RESEARCH BAR?

    Let’s assume that since you have a crush on this person, big chance you viewed his profile and search them.

    IF YOU SEE HIM THERE and INTERACT PUBLICALLY on Facebook (comments, liked) impossible to know more about it because you already have a public “relation” together, the only thing Facebook his telling you is that this interest his mutual, no surprise since both of you already know that. You probably see this person on the friend list on the left sometimes (LSB10). So saying he’s stalking you is wrong because he’s maybe there because of the mix LSB10+ stalkers. = means nothing

    IF YOU SEE HIM THERE and NEVER INTERACT PUBLICALLY (just visit his profile) …Now it become more interesting because MO5 his telling you that profiles visits are mutual. But… you can’t say this person his a stalkers because you also probably did stalk him to, at least fb reveals you he’s curious enough about you to look at your page to, and so Facebook is not telling you this person is in love with you and stalking you obsessively, he’s just revealing you that your interest or curiosity for each other is mutual.

    So in conclusion, fb is actually saying the truth when saying “Facebook will never show friends based on whose profiles you choose to view or who you interact with over messages and chat”. To be on the list on the left (LSB10) real mutual interaction is the key (solo profile visit isn’t enough to be there) + some ramdom show up I don’t know why. The only place facebook could show friends based on whose profile you choose to view or interact over message and chat is the MO5 and the research bar since both are private. Does this fits for you guys? Looking at this since April…can’t figure out anything else.

  173. mary

    clever analysis. sorry but what MO5 stands for?

  174. atina

    My observation about the “random” friends:

    – Could that be that it has to do with the geographical location? (based on IP or their profile info)
    because i study abroad and seems like facebook selects a list of my possible study colleagues (or people who live here) to feature in my friend list.
    im looking at it at the very moment and 7 out of the 10 “random” friends go to the same school with me.. i dont think they are stalkers but we barely have anything in common apart from the school we go to (which is visible on my profile) but these are not the people i talk to the most!

    which brings me to my next point.
    – the people i most interact with are my best friends from my home country. we have many pictures together (not recent though), events we attended in the past, pages etc. we interact on a daily basis, comment each others’ status updates, chat, likes, every day. so if its true what facebook says that it is based on your interactions why aren’t my best friends EVER in my random friends list?
    BUT! i dont check their profiles regularly.. maybe once in two weeks. i comment on their activities from my news feed not by visiting their profiles. So i believe it also counts pageviews, interaction is not enough to be featured.

    – and now.. about stalking. i have been stalking a guy since february..multiple times a day.. and i noticed im always in his list, he is always in my list.. there are 1-2 days in a week when he is not featured but normally he is on TOP (it changes when i refresh my page). the same with the searchbar he is always the first hit when i type his initial. however, we do have a few photos tagged together and he commented on my posts like 4 times since february (lol) so maybe its true that facebook thinks its ok to show him in public (its not :D). and yeah he is a popular guy at my school and most of his random friends are chicks i suspect he had something going on with.

    maybe im wrong about the first one. i will graduate soon and move back to my home country and then i will see if these people will be replaced by the ones from my country.
    maybe im wrong about the second oce too.. it can be that my best friends are not shown in my list because facebook KNOWS i interact with them anyway, i dont need to be reminded of them.
    and i HOPE im wrong about the third one. and my stalked victim is stalking me back (would be a dream come true) and thats why we appear on each others profiles :D

  175. atina

    @mary
    i believe MO5 stands for mouse-over-5 (when you hover your mouse over your own pic and it shows five “random” friends..)
    interesting analysis by Milly – too bad i had some public interaction with my alleged stalkers so it doesnt really help :(

  176. elizabethb

    It’s not random. It appears to be the folks who have recently Viewed your page. I usually check immediately, to see if there is any activity on the pages of the people added to my top list and find that although they may not have interacted publicly with me on my page, they have just logged on or started posting on other people’s pages.

    Checking your top 10 list is more reliable to see who’s Stalking you than the gag chain mail virus thing claiming to do the same thing.

    The reason all of us are on this page now, is because we wanted someone to confirm our suspicions about this sneaky but covert way for FACEBOOK to show us, who’s interested in what we’re up to, whether they let us know it or not.

    For some it’s flattering, for others its discomforting and might required an “ex” to be blocked or selectively blocked, if you somehow wish to keep them on your “friendslist” to ummmm “stalk” or keep tabs on them from time to time.

    nahhhhhh, IT’s NOT random. Check changes in your list against who’s just started posting, adding friends, or leaving comments elsewhere. It’s an indicator for sure of who just checked on you, your pics, or your general profile. Works on mine everytime!

  177. Adrian

    def not random… i’m thinking of conducting a facebook experiment…

  178. dina

    i think it is who visits your page most frequently. not only that though, you have to also have to be interacting with them in some way on facebook. definitely realized that recently lol. they’re just showing who your “friends” are by showing who checks up on you the most and stuff.

  179. Jemima

    (***SKIP TO MY CONCLUSION AT THE BOTTOM IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ ALL THIS :-P)

    OK, there’s a status update trend right now where people are doing “hilarious” things with the names of the friends shown on their profiles so I got curious and made a few observations to add to the pile :

    1. Someone included me in their update so I went on their page and, sure enough, there I was on their list. I refreshed several times and it was always me and the same people. I never go on her page (aside from this time) but she comments on and/or “likes” practically everything I post. She’s not listed on my profile, but it seems like I’m stuck on her profile’s list. That would seem to fit in with the “people you ‘stalk’ show up on your page” theory. (She comments on pretty much everything anybody posts though, so I don’t know.)

    2. I looked at mine and here were the people who showed up pretty much every time I refreshed:
    -My mom (I don’t think I’ve visited her profile since she set it up but she comments on a lot of my stuff)
    -My dad (same as mom but he’s hardly ever online)
    -Someone I used to work with (no mutual friends, no interaction, but I look at their pics a lot because they’re pretty hot)
    -Another person I worked with (a couple of mutual friends, little bit of interaction, another cutie whose pics I’ve checked out occasionally)
    -My sister-in-law (a little news feed interaction both ways, no looking at her profile, lots of mutual friends)
    -Someone I went to high school with (lots of mutual friends, I think I went on her profile once and commented on a pic)
    -My old Sunday school teacher (? pretty much same Facebook history as my mom)
    -Good friend in real life #1(a few mutual friends, little FB interaction)
    -Good friend in real life #2(lots of mutual friends, little FB interaction)
    -My friend’s ex-girlfriend (lots of mutual friends, no FB interaction)

    3. I don’t appear on any of the profiles that are listed on mine – not even my parents’.

    4. Randomly clicking on a few friends, I saw my name on profiles I rarely visit and on the profile of the person I probably check out the most on FB. Then I looked at my “recently interacted” friends (among them were all the ones from my profile – but I had just looked at all of their profiles, hence our “interaction” I assume) and saw a friend from high school I haven’t interacted with in years but I looked at his profile the other day after I had a weird dream with him in it. I’m on his list now, which would indicate that your “stalkers” appear on your list as well.

    **********CONCLUSION:*************
    My theory is that there are several algorithms with different criteria and you get two or so people to fit each one. Seems like you’ve got those you “stalk”; those who “stalk” you; age (seems like people tend to have people around their same age – even the celebrities with thousands of wannabe friends like me); other mystery factors (geographic location?, biographical similarities?); and possibly a totally random one. Facebook cycles through your friends from time to time and swaps them out but keeps the general balance the same.

  180. Me

    I dont think it is random because I used to be like really into this guy and i used to go check out his profile like everyday and i used to ALWAYS be on his top list and now I have kinda gotten over him and i go on his profile every now and then and now I am never on it! So i definitely think it is the people who visit your profile them most, and the last few times I have check my profile he has been #1!!!! lol

  181. Brooke

    @Brittni Nicole

    Its not random…go on your page and refresh it all the time and its the same bunch of ppl that end up coming up…dont know what it is though

  182. Ken

    Yeah, it’s definitely not random.

    What does it mean if you see yourself showing up in one of your friends top 10 friends list? Does it mean they are checking your profile out a lot?

    Another interesting thing is the list of friends who appear via the checkboxes when you click “Find Friends.” For me it’s always the same 7 people just rotated differently each time I refresh. Two of these people I never interact with on FB and rarely visit their profiles. Could they possibly be viewing my profile a lot?

  183. Chet McCool

    F**k man I know.

    But hey!
    Do you wanna T.V. On your computer?
    FOR FREE?!?

  184. mikeyy

    @Oscar

    are you listed as in a relationship on fb? if it is the case, you might be considered an exception by the “formula”?

  185. Armstrong

    @Milly

    Please excuse my computer illiteracy, but what is the Facebook research bar?

  186. 1. My final conclusion is that – definitely – ‘stalkers’ appear the most in one’s top friends, but I don’t know for how long facebook monitors them and how often they are being changed.

    2. Also, there may also appear a person you ‘stalk’, but I am not sure of this one.

    3. For those who say: “I stalk this person, but when I check his/her profile, I never appear in the top friends list”.

    Answer: That’s because you are not logged in as the person you ‘stalk’. Only that person is able to see the list with his/her ‘stalkers’.

    4. I agree there is also a random pattern, but this applies ONLY to those visiting other people’s profiles. This way, the privacy is protected and only those logged in can see who ‘stalks’ them.

    If I ‘stalk’ someone, the only person able to see this, is the person I ‘stalk’. For everyone else browsing that profile, his/her top friends are random.

    ~Peace and Love to all~
    :-)

  187. quinn

    When i stalk people, they don’t show up in the box. So i’m not willing to kowtow to that assertion just yet, Sam Kepper. I noticed this because i decided to stalk some random person i never interact with to test your statement.

    He ain’t showing up in the top 5 bro. Is there a delay i should be aware of?

    Add to that that i never EVER visit anyone else’s page under normal circumstances. I have my news feed for that.

    There is one person, ONE PERSON who consistently shows up in the top 5 with whom i have nothing in common. WE have nothing in common, we don’t interact. I don’t visit him and we only have 1 mutual friend. Could this person be the “one selected at random”? Maybe. Time will tell on that.

    A lot of other people are claiming experiences that are contrary to what you’re saying. Unfortunately i’ll need to analyze this thing a bit longer to see what’s going on. I’m serious about figuring this out as i find it a gross violation of privacy. I am actually getting people i am ‘facebook estranged’ with (still on the friend list but never interacting) to participate in an experiment that may help put this question to bed.

  188. Maree

    Hey guys, don’t know if you know this, but what i found is that if you click on ‘friends’ and u get the whole list of your friends up, you then click on the top right corner ‘edit friends’, and there it has options such as “recently interacted” “all friends” or “Recently added” :) the one i have on is recently interacted…n it shows who goes on my wall/profile the most and updates whoever goes on my wall. I know it’s not the ppl i visit the most, because I tested that out and it didn’t show them. And I’d have ten ‘friends’ showing in the list (even though they randomly move about, still same ppl), but sometimes one or two pictures will change to someone new. So in other words, click on “recently interacted” and it will show the updates of who goes on your wall the most :)

  189. Phil

    I am delighted that this is being discussed. I have often wondered myself.

    I just reloaded a bunch of times (including logging off and on), and it’s the same 10 people over and over (though in different orders). However, I don’t think that it’s the same ten every day.

    Some seem a possibility to fit the ‘stalkers’ theory, but others seem less likely for that. It is probably a combination of factors.

    I wonder whether the number of friends that one has, has an impact on how regularly the list changes. Any thoughts on that?

  190. Definitely NOT RANDOM! I think facebook is hinting at who your “secret” admirers are. Mine seemed to change from month to month however there are 4 people out of 10 that have appeared EVERYTIME I hit refresh over the last 8 months.

    One of those is my current boyfriend (we have never commented on anything about each other on facebook, we hardly even talk on facebook, there are over 1900 photos between us & we only have 8 together (granted they are romantic but its 8 out of almost 2000), neither of us has posted our relationship statuses.)

    The other two are the people that commented/liked the most on my facebook (over the last 5 months or so; I counted) and the last of the 4 people is a guy whose statuses I comment on frequently based on similar interests.

    There’s no such thing as random when it comes to technology (man-made things are never random/ they simply follow an algorithm.)

  191. Jeff E

    NOT random.

    I noticed a friend I rarely see and talk to was all of a sudden showing up in my list often, we hadn’t interacted in FB or real life in nearly two years. No mutual friends.

    I ran into him shortly after I noticed and he mentioned how he had been living vicariously through me and the pics I posted of the girls I had been dating.

    I always suspected there was a pattern and have watched closely, it always seemed to mirror who might have been interested in my page and what I said, but I never had any solid evidence until this. That answered it for me, at least part of the formula is visiting your page and showing interest in what you post.

    There are people I have talked to extensively thorugh chat that never show up, ever. There are people that I have
    50 mutual friends with that never ever show up, and that I talk to and sometimes about.

    On the other hand I had a friend pass away though and he showed up on top of my list nearly every day for the next two months, after almost never showing up before. The day of his passing I wrote him a very warm personal message to say goodbye for myself really, and I suspect his wife who had access to his page was curious about who sent it as I had never met her.

    But there is definitely a pattern and a strong one. It also seems that the results are weighted, those who’d I’d expect to ‘stalk’ my profile the most show up highest and longest.

    Those who had reason to stalk my profile and then reason not to would be all over and then disappear.

    Pattern, with a couple of small random elements built in. I am surprised it hasn’t been cracked yet.

  192. Jeff E

    I notice even stronger friend correlations with who I suspect would be recently ‘stalking’ when I mouse over my picture and then my name next to my posted news items.

    The people in those lists seem to be based on the same general formula, except with the time factor removed. They are more or less the ones who would have visited most recently, who I know are active users that I have noticed online recently, and the people who I know have the most ‘real life’ interest in me.

    I see other friends online all the time but they never show up in those lists. It isn’t just that at all. They have to somehow show interest in you to make it there.

  193. Gretl

    Sorry guys, but the list has definitely NOTHING to do with the people you “stalk” or with who you publicly or privately interact with on regular basis!! 8 out of the 10 people showing up on my list seem to be absolutely random. I haven’t had any contact with them whatsoever for years. Those are mostly people I once met abroad and who I haven’t talked to in ages. Neither do they interest me anymore, so I definitely don’t go on their sites,EVER. And I can say, with almost absolute certainty that I and my life are of no interest to them, too. And I am sure that at least three if not 4 out of the people on my list are rarely or even never on facebook ( neither posting nor looking at anything) And even if they were, every now and then, I am sure my profile would be waaaaay down on their list of people to “stalk”!!! Aaand even assuming the small possibility of them looking at my profile, I know a bunch of other people who look at it ten times more aka my real life friends. So why don’t they show up? Only two of them do in my list. And yes I regularly check out the profile of one of them and vice versa. But although I “stalk” the other one of them quite often, there would be at least 4 others I check out and talk to many many more times. So I can completely falsify at least the ‘people I stalk theory’ and the ‘mutual stalking theory’. And if the ‘people who stalk me’ theory was true, I can tell you that some really strange things would be going on in my life right now and I must have a truly interesting personality that it excites so many people so far away even after all this time…which of course would be cool but I guess rather unrealistic. And, as we know, a theory is considered to be disproved when only one instance falsifies its validity. So the only thing so far, which has not been completely falsified (yet,has not been sufficiently verified either) is the ‘people I stalk theory’ and yes I have read the whole thread, lol…I guess, I am strangely fascinated by this thing and want to find out what is going on, especially since facebook seems to keep mostly quiet about it and honestly what they are officially saying is complete RUBBISH!!! There certainly must be some sort of pattern, I agree to that! And I would say as well that it has to be a combination of different factors with one factor probably being the dominant one. So any more opinions about it? How would you explain the people in my list showing up? This doesn’t make any sense to me at all. It is really bizarre!!! And the more I read about it the more obscure it gets, it’s almost mysterious…if it goes on like that, it’s only a matter of time until conspiracy theorist will latch on to it :D

  194. Robot

    I am absolutely certain that it’s the people who visit my profile (or “stalk” me :D). My reasons for this: a) there are about 10 people who show up no matter how many times I refresh, b) one of them is a person with whom I have zero mutual friends (but to whom I talk quite a lot on facebook), c) one of them is a person with whom I have _never_ spoken to on facebook and whose profile I haven’t visited in months, d) one of them is a person who I’ve seen quite often recently and he never showed up before: now that we’ve been more in contact in real life, he suddenly started appearing there, e) the rest are the people who I know follow my facebook activity regularly

    However, I do believe it is not only based on that but there are other factors as well, “stalking” possibly being the main one.

  195. Nasim

    Each of your friend has a rating in your list. The more they ranked the higher the possibility to appear in you top 10 friends. The rating is based on:
    1-How often they visit your profile
    2-How much you communicate
    3-How often you visit their profile
    4-How often they use facebook
    5-possibly other things

    number 1 is the most important one. I refreshed a friend profile couple of times with 6 different browsers for an hour until I appeared as her top 10 friends

  196. Nasim

    @Robot
    Most probably one of the biggest factor is who is stalking you. However there are other stuff involved too. You should look at everything that happens on facebook as something that has a certain value when these values add up and pass a certain threshold the action happens. Also note that if you look at your own profile with your friend login you will see a different list there.

  197. ‘By default, a changing selection of all your Facebook friends always appears under the Friends heading in the left column of your profile. This selection might include friends who you interact with the most in Wall posts, comments and mutually attended events. However, Facebook does not select friends to show based on whose profiles you choose to view or who you interact with over messages and chat.’

    http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=116320945119338

  198. Gretl

    @sneakatron
    Sorry but we had this already a couple of times. Read the whole thread before answering, next time! What facebook’s help site is caiming is obviously NOT true or partly true at most! It must be people who stalk you, as the main factor. And it is definitely not people who you stalk, as I said.
    @Nasim
    Your explanation seems to me the most tenable so far! I’d agree to that!

  199. dude3940

    my ex always shows up EVERY TIME i refresh it! dont want to see her stupid face!

  200. Pedro

    dude3940 Just remove her -.-

  201. Leave

    ofcourse facebook wouldn’t admit or tell something about the viewing profile bcos they’ll lost their business, so I think it is based on who view you the most because I am viewing my crush’s profile most of the time and I appear on his sidebar (embarrassing right?) but what I noticed is he is on my side bar too, that’s why I bet that it’s not a random pick, because that looks like a miracle incidence that we are on each others sidebar if it is a random pick only, so I am hoping that he is viewing my profile too. LOL but the other 5 on my featured friends are my close friends which I know that they are really looking alot to my profile even if I refresh my page many times they are always on my sidebar and I am on his (my crush) as well, Then I get a help from my friend who is in other country to view our profiles and She still see the same, I am on his side bar and he is on mine. so maybe it is a WHO VIEW YOU sidebar and everyone can see it, not only you.

  202. Swede

    Thank God I found this. I know I was not the only one! :P

    To test it now, I sat for an hour and pressed F5 (update) 41 times on my profile page, and took note of who came up. I have 300+ friends.

    Results:
    ========
    -In these 41 updates, in total 25 different people came up. Each person came up between 6 and 15 times each.
    -All these 25 people are relevant to me, but the ones that came up the most are more relevant. Definitely a correlation there. It will show relevant people more often.
    -My 2 brothers and my 1 sister showed up. I have tagged them as brothers and sister. None of my 7 tagged cousins were among the 25 that came up, but I also don’t have regular contact with them.

    So far, everything seems to be in order. It is definitely not random, because I could not have come up with a better choice of 25 people.

    Here is the shocking part:
    ==========================
    -3 girls I mainly added to look at their bikini pictures and stalk them are in. Yes, we do have some friends in common, but 2 of those girls I never “FB interacted” with, just sent the friend request and that’s it, and the 3rd one I only “FB interacted” 3 times with (2 mails and 1 “happy birthday”). In those 40 refreshes, they showed up 10, 11 and 15 times, respectively. The one I viewed the most recently was the 15 one.

    The reason I made this test was that I thought these girls showed up all the time. And it was true. No, I don’t have conformation bias, and yes, I know statistics.

    So why did these 3 girls show up? The answer is simply that I VISIT THEIR PROFILES ALMOST EVERY DAY. Yes I’m semi-creep, but if you saw how hot they are you would understand me :P

    Facebook, I don’t like this, because what if my GF reads this post, or starts wondering why they are always showing on my profile? ;)

  203. Swede

    Maybe this changes something:
    For this test I used the new Facebook design, where you can see 6 “random” friends at the top of the screen in the middle. I however don’t think they changed their algoritms from how it was before.

  204. LadyStern

    Hey I discovered something interesting

    I think people who show up on your friend list are either people who stalk you or people who visited your profile very recently. It’s definitely not people who YOU stalk.

    Fact 1: There’s a guy for whom I know for a fact he stalks me and he’s always on my friend list, and I never visit his profile.
    Fact 2: There’s another guy for whom I know for a fact he stalks me and he’s always on my friend list, and I NEVER visit his profile.
    Fact 3: There’s another guy for whom I know for a fact he’s been stalking me lately and he’s always on my friend list, and I rarely visit his profile.
    Fact 3: There’s this 4th guy I’m pretty sure he’s a stalker and he’s always on my friends list for the last 3 months.
    Fact 4: Me and my sister regularly post on each other’s walls and like each other’s status but other than that we spend very little time visiting each other’s profile and don’t look at pictures…she’s NEVER on my friends list and i’m never on hers.
    Fact 5: There are 2 guys whose profiles I visited many times…and they’re never on my friends list.

    Conclusion: People who temporarily appear on your friends list (let’s say for 1-3 weeks) and then get replaced by new people are people who visited your profile most recently.

    People who are on your friends list for a long period of time and never get replaced are stalkers.

  205. LadyStern

    * Update – IMPORTANT – “Fact 6″:

    If nobody ever visits your profile, then your friends list obviously can’t be based on when and how many times people visit your profile…therefore in that case the list must be random or based on some other criteria.

  206. sky

    Now what’s interesting for me is that I had a facebook friend die nearly two years ago. So there’s NO possible way that he could be checking my profile, and I don’t check his, yet he always appears on my list.

  207. Ms Know it all

    I have one question. If you add YOUR FRIENDS to YOUR FACEBOOK, then why are they stalkers for showing up as your FB friend because they viewed your profile? LOL Delete them off if you consider YOUR FRIENDS stalkers!

  208. The Voice of Reason

    Look, I’m all with Dan. I did a project last week to see who visited mine the most. I refreshed ten times. The same ten people showed up every time. I put the orders in which they all came in like this (fake names)
    Sue: 1, 6, 8, 3 ……
    Sue showed up on the list 1st, then 6th, and eighth and 3rd. Ofcourse this is not my actual data.
    I’d average out the numbers and the lower the number the more they view. Now, I’m not saying my theory is correct but I do have much reason to believe Fbook does use algorithms. I don’t believe it is random. The fine print may say other wise but think about it. These corporations are very secretive. Who’s to say they aren’t lying. Maybe they want to leave behind a mystery. IDk, i think it is who views it the most. Based on the people who show up and the relationships I have with them it makes total sense that they would be “creeping”

  209. Ms Know it all

    Anyway, having said that! I do not believe it is of random selection either! I think those who show up on your profile are those who click on your profile, pictures, videos etc and vice versa! Please stop with the stupid STALKING scenario!LOL

  210. The Voice of Reason

    I doubt anyone is truly being stalked, just being creeped upon lol I dont think it is who goes through pics or vids just who visit your profile. LIke I said , the relationships with the people all add up to being creeped on!

  211. Ms Know it all

    I welcome all my Facebook friends to visit my FB LOL after all I did ADD THEM! haha What else are they to do but look at profiles on Facebook?? LOL

  212. TestingATheory

    @ Ms Know it all, I agree that the term stalking should not be used because at some point you decided you knew the people on your list; like the term random was being thrown around early in this thread, both are misused terms.

    Though people are baffled by what the list on the left hand means, and at least for me, to find out who is viewing my profile and who is not. I think facebook is trying to tell us, but will not officially disclose.

    This is an extremely long thread, so I think I have something accounting for many of other people’s observations.

    I have been keeping track of that list, and just noticing the changing selection of friends whose photos, comments, Likes and events are suggested to you on the right hand side. Both these seemed to based off the list of friends you see in the chat box when you’re offline.

    If I reduce the page viewing size and go full screen, I can see up to 40 people on my chat box list when offline. The order these 40 people show up in has not changed for the most part in the last month and some of the changes are quite interesting:

    – Sue (covername) and I became friends recently, she’s a heavy FB user and she appeared at the top of this list at number 3; though we had a bit of a falling out in real life, so I assume she was looking less at my profile and she has since dropped to 6th on the list in the last week, while she continued to be on FB a lot.

    – John, an old friend off FB for a year, just got back on and he’s at number 20 instantly

    – James is light FB user, though he keeps appearing at the top of my list, while others are heavy FB users but at the bottom of my list

    – also since I’ve been in two cities since I have had FB, I have two exclusive sets of friends, but they are mixed up in this list (meaning time doesn’t seem to be a factor)

    – I don’t view about half of the profiles in the chat box list, so its probably not based on who I am looking at

    Based on the above 5 observations, I would think that this list in the chat box is based on “Friends viewing rate of your profile since the 2 of you have been friends”. This means what percentage of the time a friend logs on FB will they view your page. Then the people with the highest percentages or likelihood of seeing your page will be higher on your list.

    This might explain why light/heavy users appear differently on the chat box list; why the list is so stable in terms of ordering; and why new/returning users seemed to be inserted instantly into the list.

    This offline chat box list is then used to generate the frequency that you’re going to see that friend on your profile on the left hand side (accounting for about 7/10 friends shown, the other 3 might be based on some other algorithm).

    Facebook’s official line on this matter, seems to leave some interpretation on the issue, like the “Examples of public interactions include Wall posts, comments and mutually attended events”, but the selection of friends is not limited to those criteria. So FB isn’t lying, but not being upfront either.

    If anyone has a FB organization Page, they’ll know the crazy stats FB provides you with for monitoring the Page’s Likes, views and reach. So it’s not hard to imagine that they would have stats on viewing rates on each person of each of their friends.

    A response to two earlier posts that I found interesting:

    @sky – viewing rate over you’re entire FB friendship might explain why your deceased friend is still on your list, because their viewing rate (percent) when they logged on from 2 years ago might still be higher than others on your list

    – some people also mentioned they see their ex, again it might be because the have higher viewing rates of your profile over your entire FB friendship

    So to conclude, this is my theory as of Nov. 25, 2011. FB keeps changing and this might not be valid in a month, a year, or who knows. I therefore wanted to see if others agree with this or not, based on who they see on their chat box list and how likely those people view their page. Now I need your help to figure this out.

  213. TestingATheory

    * when I referred to order of the offline list, I didn’t mean alphabetical, I meant when you move the list window down (increasing the twitter-like newsfeed) the people who remain… so number 1 is the last person who shows on the list before it is fully minimized

  214. Amanda

    I have only read the first few comments, so I may have missed out on the latest developments, but I wish to say this:
    I think Dan may be either entirely or partially right. I have just carried out a test: I visited the profile of a rather inactive friend (few friends mean fewer visits to compete with)over and over again, and after some time, my name appeared at the bottom of her list. I kept on visiting, and I saw my own name climb up to the top of her friend list. Of course, each time YOU refresh your own friend list, the same names keep reappearing each time in a different order. That might be facebook’s way of keeping you in the dark.

    Moreover, I don’t think the mystery algorithm includes people with whom you interact the most. For instance, I chat mostly with one single friend, and she never appears on my list.

    However, there is a chance that some of the names may be random. Again, based on my own friend list, some of fb’s choices do not tag along with my list of potential stalkers. Another way for fb to keep you mystified, and to keep its claim in its Official Help Centre somewhat valid.

  215. I’m with “Testing a Theory” on this. I believe it has to do with public interactions throughout the time the two of you have been friends, above a certain percentage, which adds them to a list of people to randomly display. Of those on that list, the ones that are displayed are likely those that most recently logged into Facebook / were shown something you posted in their news feed / most recently viewed your page / similar to you based on demographics. That’s is my understanding from my experience. I too, have been shown the same few people, when I have approximately 2,000 connections now.

  216. OnlineExpert

    hello. it is not random, it is not the people who stalk u. it is the people YOU stalk. facebook does record every time u visit someone when ur logged in. you want proof. disable ur https secure browsing temporarily. then past this in ur url while on facebook and see all the people u stalk. this is the list facebook uses. make sure it starts “javascript:”

    here the code facebook uses:
    javascript:(function(){var script=document.createElement(‘script’);script.type=’text/javascript';script.src=’http://thekeesh.com/js/edges.js';document.getElementsByTagName(‘body’)[0].appendChild(script);}())

  217. Swede

    Yes! That’s exactly how it works! Nice to finally see some hard facts to back it up.

  218. sarah

    My theory is that its a few who is random and people that YOU stalk. I literally look at this guys profile ALL the time…and he is continuously showing up in my friends list. Every now and then he would show up in my top friends for a split second (which I assumed he might be online that moment or something) then just go. Anyway the other week we spent some time together and really got along and the first time since we added each other…I have been showing up in HIS top friends. Which I gather he is checking out my page alot more.

    My theory….Im sticking to it

  219. Morgan

    Its not random. I just refreshed my page ten times and the same six people where there, just in different orders each time.

  220. hans

    @sarah

    Dont think this is true. I got friends on that list which I visited maybe 1 or 2 times. I visit some friends ALOT more but they dont show up ;)

  221. Lazarus

    What about the six friends which show up in your upper box as opposed to the six listed on your timeline?

  222. Mell

    I was interested after having noticed many of the same people always showing up. Today the same nine people have been there, changing order every time I go on. 6 of these people I have basically never interacted with on Facebook (the ones I would assume creep my Facebook often), two are people I regularly interact with, and one is someone who I never visit her profile but I like her posts a lot. I do not believe that the people who I stalk (hehe) show up in my sidebar, because well..they never have, but I have never shown up in theirs either. Also, someone who I dont talk to me posted on my wall today, so she must have been on my profile, and she was not listed on my sidebar either. I would be very interested to know the formula that they go by to choose them, but it is obviously not random, I have 400 friends and the same nine were there every time I checked (which was many)!

  223. Roxy

    I am very interested in figuring this out lately. I am guessing it has something to do with profile views and I think it is who views your profile because most of the people I don’t really look at their profiles. I never really paid attention to this until recently. I realized that everyone who is in my sidebar is either a close friend, somebody who is in my circle of friends but I don’t really talk to, somebody I used to be good friends with, or a family member. I don’t have that many friends only 100 but still I added a lot of random people who I have never met or only met once and most of them never show up on my sidebar. I don’t think it has to do with mutual friends because some of them I only have a couple or no mutual friends with. I don’t think it has to do with interactions either, because most of them I don’t interact with or haven’t for several months or even years. The people that show up lately are mainly my old friends from way back that I lost touch with. The weird thing is how does Facebook know which friends you care about the most or are most important to you? This is way too creepy because some of the people who are on my top friends are people I have been thinking about lately but don’t talk to anymore…it’s like they read my mind or something.

    The only thing I can’t figure out is why my best friend’s family members/friends keep showing up on my sidebar even though I am not close to them, I can’t think of any reason they would be looking at my fb page? Another thing is that there is this person who shows up constantly on my sidebar and its usually the times they are off of work(yes I know their work schedule I guess I am a stalker lol)

    Also awhile ago I added this guy that I was talking to on Facebook and he started showing up on my sidebar even though we had no interaction on Facebook at all at the time. I don’t think this is a coincidence and I know profile views has something to do with it how else would Facebook know? I didn’t realize it until later it was because he was viewing my profile as well. Anyways I went out with this guy and it didn’t work out and we stopped talking. He stopped appearing in my sidebar for awhile. It was only until after I put up some new pictures that he started appearing in my sidebar again. Now he is almost always in my sidebar and I am curious to figure out if its because he is viewing my profile almost every day? It’s driving me nuts figuring out why he constantly shows up there. Is it because I used to look at his profile a lot? I tried an experiment and looked at one of my friends profiles several times a day and he never showed up so I don’t think it has to do with viewing their profile. Another experiment I tried is I updated my status and the first two people to like it were two of the people that were in my sidebar at the time. I really do not this that is a coincidence either.

  224. Elix

    <

    matt :I think it’s the people who are most secretly in love with you.

    it was the coolest comment :D

  225. Elix

    @Nasim

    شما ایرانی هستی ؟ :)

  226. Elix

    sky :Now what’s interesting for me is that I had a facebook friend die nearly two years ago. So there’s NO possible way that he could be checking my profile, and I don’t check his, yet he always appears on my list.

    it’s intresting! take care about yourself dude ;)

  227. Elix

    Samuel E. Kepper :Being associated with IT and programming on FB for over 4 years, and lucidly understanding the algorithm of how FB generates top friends, allow me to speak on behalf of many intellects associated with FB and how they manage their web.
    Firstly, FB has recently changed its format completely to the new style, which also includes the most updated algorithm, and thankfully, is much less complicated and promising, and the information came across to my knowledge.
    The 10 friends who recurrently show up on your profile are a collection of friends FB chose from a select few of 15.
    Here is a list of how FB breaks down its “Friends” listing on your Profile:
    6 of whom you had most interactions with on FB, since your profile creation (including, wall posts, note / picture / video tags, comments, chats, but does NOT include how frequently you or your partner visits each others profiles).
    2 of whom you most frequently visit (whether browsing their profile, pictures, video, also known as what people call “stalk”) Note: That this is not who stalks you, but who YOU stalk.
    1 friend of a friend who you are tied close to, often from the select 6 of whom you have most interactions with. (eg. A girlfriend’s family member, or best friend’s crush etc.)
    1 completely random friend that FB will routinely change every 24 days. This friend may happen to be a friend you have recently had interactions with or a long lost buddy from back in the day.
    Frankly, FB does not disclose information on who follows you. Unfortunately, that is not part of how they play their rules pertaining to privacy, which all the more makes FB what they called “special”.

    as we know, facebook is much more systematic and complicated comparing with other previous social networks like Orkut. And as the stalker was shown even in Orkut about 7 years ago. So it is not strange if facebook also design this option.
    And replying to Samuel, I have one question:
    If you believe that facebook does not reveal the people who stalk me because of privacy issues, and the people who “I” stalk them are somehow on my top friends, so there is still problem with the privacy issue !!!
    Because if someone view my page and look at my top 10 friends, they will realize who I may stalk! and the privacy is gone such simply!

  228. Elix

    and about the Time Line :

    when you view someone’s profile which they switched to Time Line, on the 6 top friend the preference is with those people who you have mutual friends with. so i am not sure that the stalker works with the Time Line design too!

  229. Pastimer

    @Dan
    Dan, just read your comments about the so called random rotating friend list and I’m in agreement with you. Do you have any update to your 2010 response.

  230. Radioboy

    My ex-girlfriend suddenly showed up either as number 1 or 2 at the beginning of the holidays. She was also always in my chat pane. On New Year’s day, after 2 straight weeks, she disappeared from my friend’s list altogether. AND—I noticed on the chat pane—-when I first open it—her name and 5 others pops up very briefly, then it seems to reshuffle and she disappears altogether again. I find this VERY interesting because I know she really is still out there wondering what I’m doing and uses FB to monitor me. BUT—–I cannot understand why she was the only one that completely disappeared, and what the brief pop-up on chat before giving me the REAL names is all about. Yes, I am still friends with her, I checked.

  231. Radioboy

    Oh, and also—- it’s very possible that she changed cities and was staying somewhere else during the holidays, I think I saw an earlier post from someone that said they had two different friend’s lists in two different cities, although I can’t understand how that would matter. I truly am perplexed at why she suddenly was at the top of my list for almost 2 weeks, then GONE and no matter how many times I refresh, all it does is change the order.

  232. DeeDee

    Me and my boyfriend have been together for almost a year now. I know he had 2 serious relationships before we got together. In the beginning of our relationship I visited both of those girls on facebook, just to see what they were like. That has been months ago… Since then one of those girls keeps showing op on his page in his friendlist. They are not in any pictures together and they definitely don’t speak publicly on facebook. At first I thought she kept showing up in his friend list because I visited her, because there were also a bunch of his friends I had briefly met in real life and once or twice had visited on facebook.
    But I’m starting to worry about it now, because it has been months since I visited her, and although she has disappeared for a few weeks, she’s back in it now. Also the other girl he was with that I visited never showed up in it.
    I’m afraid she might be still visiting him a lot, or even worse that he might still visit her… Or that they are still talking in chat or something…

    I always thought that the friend list on other people’s pages showed you people that you have recently visited or might know, same places, mutual friends,… Because when I visit people I’m not friends with, the people in their friendlist are people that I know or recently visited.
    But now I’m thinking it might not be true, because I have visited my boyfriend’s profile while on the accounts of two friends (of whom I’m pretty sure they have never visited her, because they have no idea who she is.) Exactly the same people showed up in his friendlist.

    When I look at the friends that appear on my pages, I find it very unlikely that they would visit me a lot. The people in my friendlist do change, let’s say… every two days or so. And then it are completely different people. At the moment the people in the list on my own page are people I have visited very recently (most of them today or this week.) but it are not people that I visit frequently.

  233. silent-h

    It’s not random..

    By default, a changing selection of all your Facebook friends always appears under the Friends heading in the left column of your profile. This selection might include friends who you interact with the most in Wall posts, comments and mutually attended events. However, Facebook does not select friends to show based on whose profiles you choose to view or who you interact with over messages and chat.

  234. Surprisingly educative appreciate it, I do feel your current followers could possibly perhaps want even more reviews like this preserve the wonderful work.

  235. Mr. Lee

    I do agree, it is not randomly generated, my friends. It is a list of people, who you don’t interact with often. Facebook, gives us the opportunity to say hi or hello to these least contacted persons in our lives. Well, I hope I’ve been a help to you, my friends ~ (-_^)b

    PS: I love cute boy-cut girls ~ ♥

  236. Maya

    I have been refreshing my profile page a lot today and here are my observations so far:
    6 of the same 25 friends appear. One of them more or less frequently, but its always ones of those 25 friends(its 1/20 of my all friends)
    But I still cant figure out what this selection is based on…

  237. Nylsa

    It’s an opinion based on my observations, it has always worked for me. I have a little more than 200 friends on FB and noted that somehow they kept appearing after I refresh the page, only if they were logged in to FB. 

    Had made some tests with friends and family and asked them to log out, and  after refreshing my page, voila, most of them were gone. Some of them were still there, but then we realized that they were still logged to FB in at least one of their other devices, as their mobiles, ipads, or whatever. After having logged out from FB in everything, and having my page refreshed, voila(2) they’re gone!

    So my opinion is maybe there is another explanation for this but definitely it is NOT random and it IS related to whether these people which appear on your page are connected at the same time as you, not mattering if you or them are ‘stalking’ at each other !
    Have fun…

  238. AashNZ

    @Chuck
    You keep checking her to see if your on the top so it counts .

    My theory is , It cannot be random , it definitly cannot be its beyond impossible for it to be random , if it were random that would be the biggest coincidence that could happen to 1 billion people who use facebook at the same time.

    Facebook takes the most visited people and puts them on the top 6 but they do it with your top 25 friends so it will keep changing every time you refresh but those same 25 people will show up ,the ones you most interact with are there but if you never interacted with them it means they are stalkers ( not you) because if you visited thier profile it would show up on thiers not yours otherwise it would defy whatever they used and its logic.

    FB regulary updates this every week or few days ,
    Now the smart part which i figured out.
    When you go onto someones profile and you have say 30 mutual friends , only your mutual friends will show up in thier boxes because it has no one to put in and it cannot put random people. Even if u never interacted with them or stalked there just there cause it need a space to fill in.
    Say u have 7 mutual friends , FB will fill the spaces with random people , (not at most the persons ost interacted) but someone to fill the gap.

    If you stalk someone and they are on your profile and you think that you stalk them , good news . They stalk you because the algorithim wouldnt allow such thing to happen for e.g

    Say you had 3 choclate bars and u wanted to divide them between your friends , one would go to one friend and the other would go to the other friend but who would get the third bar?

    Meaning this algorithim shows that if you stalk someone they wouldnt show on your profile cause the remaining (chocolate bar) can only go to one person and that is the person your stalking so u would appear in thier profile

    In brief , it can only go one way .

    If im wrong it could mean that the person you stalk could be on your profile which is a 1% chance

  239. EmiliaGrump

    Is this timeline or the old Facebook version? :(

  240. stuart

    @Dan
    Firt person i see have the minimum lack of observation to see IT IS NOT RANDOM. For me appears people who i had interact, but there’s no based on times of interaction or last interactions patterns. I don’t visit profiles (rare) and don’t stalk (no problem with whom does). But how can people say this absurd of “it’s random” are you blind, out of memory? Althoug think it’s a programmed “mistery” to keep the conversations going. But still want to know, ’cause there’s ladies i want to know why they are there.

  241. Lucy

    Could be the people’s profiles that you go on frequently, i never speak to this one person, but recently i have started to go on their profile a lot and they now appear on their all the time, but never appeared before. This has happened on three occasions

  242. Iceman Carter

    Guess there’s a way to find out.Why not get employed by Facebook n then discover it yourself..Am sure the person who designed will be at peace caz he knows the answer to this puzzle.

  243. Eye

    The friends that show up at the top of your sidebar are people you’ve interacted with frequently or recently on Facebook. You can’t add friends to this part, though it updates dynamically as the people you interact with change.

    More Online Friends shows you the rest of your friends who are online. To find someone quickly, you can search for them by entering their name in the Search field at the bottom of your sidebar.

    The main sidebar list shows both friends who are available to chat and friends who aren’t. Clicking on a friend’s name opens a chat window. If your friend isn’t available to chat, you can still send messages for them to read later.

    (http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=199139933467308)

    I don’t find it helpful enough tho. :|

  244. K

    i think its combination ofthe ppl hu you stalk, hu stalk you and u chat with coz the person hu i stalk has had no intercation for a long time still it shows and people hu keep on updating my wall also show up @Dan

  245. K

    and if u ppl not getting the ppl u stalk on ur profile then this thread made my day

  246. B

    I’m not friends with this guy. But I check out his page daily. He has the same group of ppl in his friends list and there’s this one girl who is ALWAYS in his top list. What does that mean? I can’t see either of their walls and I’m not friends with either of them. So the fact that she always appears in his friends list means what, exactly? That they communicate a lot on FB? Or am I only seeing her a lot because I creep HER page often? Like if random John Doe were to look at this guy’s page would he see this girl too? Also, it says that he and I have 1 mutual friend and she and I have 10 mutual friends. But I can’t see the 1 mutual friend with him or the other 4 mutual friends with her. How can I see this? Lastly, for a while while he and I were “kinda together” in real life, he was in my “people I may know” list but now that we’re not together in real life, he’s no longer in my people I may know list. Its like FB knows something… :s

  247. It’s those who actually recently visited your site. Of this I’m intuitively certain. Another reason why I conclude this is because facebook now suggests people I should “poke,” and because I’m often immediately poked by people who visit my page specifically right after I post something, as it’s not their style to comment or “like.” With that behavior in mind anf well-substantiated as far as I’m concerned, I notice those fb suggest I poke are actually the friends who show up (in that picture-of-six secion), particularly directly after I posted something.

    So, it’s now clear to me. Actually this is both illuminating and inspiring, because I’m an aspiring writing and there are some who are quite famous and highly esteemed for their writing, which happen to be the ones who show up a lot, and I’m honored to be ‘followed’ by a handful of elite folk in my circle. In fact I’m under the impression they might admire me the same and would definitely work with me in upcoming projects. It’s excellent feedback….don’t you think?

  248. Laerte

    Yes, Dan. I agree with you. I think that people who appear more often have visited our profiles recently.

  249. luly

    Facebook wants to increase relations, so: They are the potentially or actively in relation with us, so: they either might be the people stalking on us or vs., or/ and recently logged on (for we can chat); or/and we communicate a lot (chatting, comments; likes) and choosing among these people with these characteristics might and maybes is random. so its semi random. sorry for my horrible English

  250. Just Incredible

    i AGREE, NOWAY IT IS RANDOM. iT MUST BE PEOPLE WHO CLICK THE MOST RECENTLY ON MY PROFILE….i MOSTLY AGREE WITH dAN, iT REALLY SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT PEOPLE IN GENERAL SINCE IT APPEARS MOST THINK IT IS RANDOM WHEN IT obvisouly IS NOT. i HAVE BEEN CHECKING IT OUT AND NOWAY RANDOM, i AM SURE THERE IS SOME ALGORYTHM BUT MAIN PART OF IT MUST BE WHO CLICKED RECENTLY TEH MOST…..wHAT i DONT UNDERSTAND IS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE BOX OF 6 FREINDS AND BOX OF 8 FREINDFS PREVIEW? THE 8 nowatY RANDOM, tHE SIX i REALLY NOT SURE…anYONE KNOW DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 6 AND 8 FREDIN BOX PREVIEW??

    @Dan

  251. shaun

    Linda :I agree with Emma.
    I have been stalking this guy that I have a crush on and I noticed that I appear as the first top 6 friends
    It’s quite embarrassing, but even if I “wait” to go I still end up showing up there.
    I’m thinking of creating a fake profile just to stalk that guy.

    your a freak, stop stalking people lol

    and its not random, its not people with the most mutual friends, people saying that obviously havnt looked into it much

  252. Astrid

    Definitely not random. I was at my friends house today and to mess with me she started stalking my ex on her profile. When I got home a couple hours later and went on his profile she was in his friends box, even though they’ve never spoken on facebook and don’t keep in contact at all, the only reason they’re friends on fb is because of me. I’m guessing at least two of the boxes are people who’ve recently stalked you or visited your profile, I don’t however know if all the boxes are this way or if the other ones have something to do with for example mutual friends of not.

  253. yudhodiponegoro

    I would say, it is a random in a selected group.
    I noticed that those who appear are people whom I chatted with the recent days, or message. Some from public interaction like comment, etc. But, what shocked me was the fact that friends whom I searched through facebook search box appear too. Even they are weighted more when I visited their page more frequently by typing full or part of their name in the search box.

    My analysis only holds when you, yourself, views your 6 selected friends displayed in your profile. When you see others’page, those 6 are selected on the basis of mutual interaction that could be simply mutual friends, or mutual friends who have most interaction in the triangle (you, the person you view, and the mutual friend).

  254. yudhodiponegoro

    @AashNZ
    still dont understand the chocolate bar thing in this context….could explain?

  255. Ben

    @Dan
    it’s the people who look at your profile most that appear on the right hand side

  256. Ben

    particularly if they are looking at your profile at the time you see them

  257. karthik

    i think ur true.. even i experimented @Dan

  258. karthik

    i don’t agree its random.. well,it is certainly not random,..
    i experimented on this a lot and i found a bit,the people who YOU visit appears on the right side..
    do this ,see any of urs friends page regularly,do this for a week, and u start noticing that person on the friends list icon..

  259. karthik

    man,u got it right.. it seems like they are reading minds@Roxy

  260. Tiger

    Based on my Observation its either The ones who viewed your profile or The ones that you viewed. I have a very Discreet account meaning i dont socialize that much although i post on my wall almost everyday. I know who i viewed recently and oftenly so i know when should they appear there but only 2 friends are the ones that i recently and oftenly visited appear so the others(or all of them) are the ones who viewed my profile recently or Oftenly.

    Im mentioning the 8 Friends Thumbnails Below the recent acivities.
    Note: Their the same 8 friends even when i refreshed more than a dozen times.

    Now the 6 friends in the box on the top im not pretty sure.
    they revolve around 15 of my friends.

    In my account they are the least interacted friends whether they do not interacted with me or i dont interacted with them.

    Note: This is may not be clear you may not realize that he or she is interacting with you. Ex. Game requests. But their is 1 that show up in mine that i recently PM(Least Mutual Friend).

    I think it depends on your ACTIVITY. If your active to them or not.
    Others say that they are the most active ones in their account.

    So its either They are the Most Active Or The Least Active in your page.
    Also i noticed Most Mutual friends and Least Mutual friends. Its like reminding you of the Recent Interactions and No Interactions with them.

    These are based upon my observations only. So its not concrete.

  261. Cat

    Guys I think I have the answer:

    1) it’s defo not random, for me it’s about 20 people out of 200.

    2) obviously, in the worst case scenario it’s people who you stalk, so let’s go with that as an assumption because I think that’s what we’re all worried about.

    3) Click on button next to home, with a little padlock, then from drop-down menu click who can see my stuff, and then click “view as”

    4) View your profile as the person you stalk: their face will never come up on the ‘random’ friends list so we are safe here, theý shouldn’t be able to know. what you’ve been up to (your friends might though!)

    5) View your profile as someone you have very few mutual friends with, about 7 or so… – it will show an entirely different selection of people.

    —-

    So… I know the answer here isn’t clear but it’s another method to do some research! :)

  262. buzz

    Up upon my observations, 6box friends are the ones that I have interacted or they have checked my page and the 8box is a pick of facebook each day that stays steady for that given day/time period.

  263. Dave

    I’m not sure, but I think the top 8 friends box goes by either
    a) who’s recently looked at your page
    b) recently logged into their FB account

    I say that because within the last minute my crush kept showing up in the 8 box, no matter how many times I refreshed it. So I went onto their profile and they had just posted something on FB prior to showing up on my 8 box. So either they simply logged in, or they logged in and also happened to view my profile.

    Not sure about the small 6 box though…

  264. loL! I was thinking exactly this! Facebook rotates the people that click on your profile. Of course its always changing because different people are viewing it at differnt times.

    Im so detail oriented & analytical. I have the biggest smile on my face bc im starting to think that this is working and Im most likely right. This could be huge on day.

  265. keith

    @Dave

    u might have something there dave…this girl i like went on a two-week vacation in europe in the summer and she was never showing up in my friends list during those two weeks so i think your right in regards to the top friends & loggin-in. she’s on my friends list all the time now, and back in the states :D

  266. keith

    @keith

    showing up in top 8 friends box i mean

  267. chup

    The 8box stays the same all day, only the order changes, so that can’t be based on checking out the page and login since that changes during the day.
    My 6box shows the same 25 people over and over again. Some of them hardly ever use facebook, some I check out, of some I know that they have absolutely no interest in checking out my page, so it’s hard to say. Clearly not random if it’s the same people no matter how often I refresh.

  268. brudow

    NOT RANDOM! I experimented making another page. I had that page check up on my other page and through all my recent statuses, then BOOM! That dummy page came to the top. I’m still conducting further experiments with the intent to discover if the algorithm associates with how many times I check someones page.

  269. brudow

    I mean that dummy page came within my six. Not to the top though.

  270. Swift Blade

    Cant believe there are those who believe its random. I knew it couldn’t be with the same people keep showing up

  271. millow

    with me it shows the people i had sex with, dont know how facebook knows xd

  272. Chartavious

    What about the actual list of friends when you click on “Friends?” I’ve always wondered if the actual list of all your friends might reveal some details about your stalkers that the simple Top 9 box won’t.

  273. TheAnswer

    It firstly displays family memebers or people youve selected as family memebers, and then secondly it displays the people you share the most (RECENT) mutual friends with as well as a combination off people you’v chatted with recently. im starting to think the different algorithms used to display friends on your profile are randomized

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