I knew someone who worked on this project - it uses your overall interactions with people on Facebook and your search history to discern who's important to you - some of the other individuals generated in the box have high Friend of Friend numbers (and are deemed to be more socially important to you), some are more recent connections (because timeliness was important to creating "friendships") and the rest are people that you actually care about due to your like and comment history or message history with them. This also looked at where you knew people from, how long you'd been friends... a couple of other factors I can't remember. They know way more about you than you'd ever want to imagine.
How are the 8 friends pictures chosen in your Facebook profile Timeline?
What does the "Last Active" time stand for on Facebook Messenger mobile app?
How does Facebook determine which Friends appear on your Facebook Profile sidebar?
How do the 6 friends photos at the top of Facebook Timeline get choosen?
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