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What does the "initial chat friends list" on Facebook mean?

What is the meaning of the friends that show up in the "initialchatfriendslist" in Facebook's html source code?
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  • Right click and select View source code
  • Search for "initialchatfriendslist"
  • Copy + paste the first set of numbers below to   (ie. if the first set is 123456789 go to
Dec 17th, 2012

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36 Answers

i hear its the people who visit your wall the most

In my case the friends who are listed in the top ten of the InitialChatFriendsList",[],{"list are all people who I have Facebook Messaged back and forth with. This seems to be the main determining factor, but obviously other facebook interaction has occurred as well such as profile views, likes, photos tagged, comments, posts, etc.

Well in my case there were people i have never messaged back and for with. There was in fact a person on my top ten that i hadn't talked to in over a year and they came up as my second place. But coincidentally i had seen them a few days ago, so im assuming they recently looked at my facebook wall. Now i've used this Initial Chat Friends list for awhile and check in regularly. It seems like its whose looked at your wall the most recently in the past 2-3 weeks possibly?

guys. My friend passed away since 2009. And he is on my list of "initial chat friend list". Though, he is not on the top 20 but still ............

"The initial chat friend list' is a dynamic list of people with who you can chat. It's the list that shows on the right side of you screen, beneath the list with updates from your friends. It's called initial, because the list changes during your time on Facebook (friends logging on and off). It doesn't show who's been visiting your wall the most.

According to me , it means the one who visits yr profile the most..i m still confused but..i self experimented it!! even u try wid a fake account..get yr doubt cleared!! :)

i dont think its whos visited the most as people have come up twice with different numbers,

Hello everyone, I have read many articles and posts on this issue, I have even tried different theories such as “search bar order”, “InitialChatFriendsList” on the Source Code and recently the java script so called “Facebook Friends Rankings” which works on a non secure connection on FB (http rather than https), at the same time, I have also asked close friends (who are ranked top in this list) about their visits in my wall, pictures and so on (here, I have to add that some felt ashamed in recognizing their visit).
My best guesses are, that in fact, interaction is the most used tool to determine the order of the list, this is and in order of importance: Chat, comments, tags, likes etc.
Having said that, comes the question, “How come there are people on the list that I never chat with (whatever the reason is), no comments, no likes, no tags, no visits to their wall from your side, in short NO NOTHING???
Well, here are considerations to keep in mind: There are people in my list ranked top 30, 20 and even 10, and believe me, I have about 5 people in my top 20 with whom I have no connection at all on FB rather than just being friends. Anyhow, I do have contact with them by phone or instant message software and some of them have told me that they do visit my profile, one of them actually told me that she visits my wall at least four times a week, by the way, she has been blocked for over a month from my chat and have not interacted with her for at least two months for this “experiment” purpose. As I said, some of those people are blocked from my chat, which means, they or me, cannot, by any chance, see if I am on line or vice versa, but weird enough, are still there in the top 10 list.
In this regards and adding all these considerations, I strongly believe that in the case where there is no interaction whatsoever with someone, and that someone is ranked at least 20, then, there is a high chance that the “stalking visits” are considered in this order.
Cheers everyone

I think it is definitely a number of things, including people viewing your profile the most, most recently, etc. I say this because some people have come up on my top 30 or so of people I am not even friends with on Facebook-several of whom I don't even know! It's not a definite answer regardless, but it gives everyone some clue as to who is viewing/interacting with their profile the most.

miss K
As far as I know, it only involves people that are your friends. I tried it with a different fb-account and when we are friends, I see her in the list of numbers. But when I unfriend her, I don't see her in the list of numbers...

My crush stalks me! <3 He is my number 4.!

He only comes up because of how much you stalk him

I marked someone as "close friend" and "get notifications" option and she immediately appeared first in the list and I mean at the very next moment. Before that she was somewhere in top 15...

Hello, everyone!

I have done an experiment on this subject. It is done as follows.

I saw the friends pictures show on my time line are those who I visit often. And in most cases, they are among my top 20 in my "InitialChatFriendsList". In order to see if whose homepage I visit will affect the "InitialChatFriendsList", I choose a male friend of mine, who barely has no interaction with me on Facebook and never shows on my "InitialChatFriendsList". Then I purposely and frequently visit his homepage within two days, and consequently his picture shows up to be the 1st on my timeline in the "Friends" section.

However, I looked up the ranking in my "InitialChatFriendsList", there are some changes but his name never shows up among the top 20. On the other hand the 1st one turns out to be a girl I had diner with. I am not sure if this is an evidence for the fact that who you visit does not weight that much in your "InitialChatFriendsList" or not.

hope this helps.

Arpit somani
I dont think so it must be friend who viewed profile most .. Because i had done same thing from my friends profile.. I came 3rd .. i was shocked because i nover opened his profile !!

i did some research and i found out that the first 30 numbers were all people with which i chated recently and there was a relation that the more recently i chated with a person the more up on the list was. That makes sense to the theory that these people have viewed my profile. However it also canceles the whole theory. I logged in by my sisters profile and viewed my profile many times, many many times. When i checked the id's there wasnt my sisters id and it still wasnt there for the rest day. As a conclusion it has only to do with the chat not with profile views!

after open that view source page , how do i search for intialchatfriendlist ? bcoz i couldnt seen that word in that page
On the View source page -> click on 'Edit' -> then select 'Find' -> then do a search.

From the View source page, you could also just press 'Ctrl + F' on the keyboard to bring up the Find search function. –  Answers  Jun 10th, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Vinod Mohite
Most of the people seem to be the people whom you chat with the most + people who may have visited your profile

Non Friends also appear on this list as my stalker is in my top 5 every day. It's weird because when I put her number in it comes up page not available, but I know it's her number because I've seen it all the time and it use to go to her page? Maybe she blocked me, but then she couldn't view my page either? IDK what to think?LOL

I think it does have something to do with chat/interactions. My numbers change when I chat with a friend so it's their number first. However, my ex has been rising up through the numbers recently, started off as a 7 (when I first checked this and not long after we broke up) and is now up to 5. Now even when we were together we never interacted much on FB (as we were interacting in real life!!) so the last time we messaged each other was when he was on holiday over 2 months ago. I've been checking out his profile a fair bit...well actually loads, but if that theory was correct then he would be higher in the rankings, so I can only assume that he's checking out my profile. There hasn't been any other interaction 'liking' or 'commenting' or anything - I did the same thing where I kept clicking on a friend's profile who I don't interact with much over a few days (quite a few times a day and trying to ignore going on my ex's page) but it didn't make a difference.

I think it's on which profile you look at the most. One of my friends was ranked at number 10, and when I visited her profile many times and watched all her photos, she became number 2...

You guys are all WRONG. It is list of firends who viewed your profile most recently.
I added a guy I knew recently, and he is the first in my list now.
The list is not the ones who stalk you the most, so dont get too excited ...

it could be just random ?

Got the answer
It is who has viewed your profile in numerical order. I tested this theory. I posted a video on my profile. My son said he looked at it, then called his friend to look at it, she had her mom look at it, my best friend went on my page, then a guy from high school poked me. None of these profiles I've been on for a very long time and they all came in the order of exactly how my son said it went and the timing it all happened. Everything was in the exact order of those who went to my profile and opened it...not the other way around. Hope this helps.

I never chat with anyone on FB. I rarely post stuff or comment on stuff or like stuff. I have some photos with friends but the last ones were posted two months ago. So I can honestly say that the only thing I have done for the last two months is view people's profiles or photos, both friends and non friends. My list is composed of people I would expect to be interested in my profile, but with a few surprises (ie people being ranked higher than I would have expected). The people I view most are ranked 7 and 13 on average, and while the people in the top 20 I do view from time to time, there are four I never ever view and there they are. Conclusion? They must be viewing my profile regularly, even though there has been nothing new there for months. I wish I could see non friends as well.

Further to my last post, what I am saying is that for two months now the FB algorithm has had nothing to go on apart from people I view and people who view me. The list is definitely not in the order I view people, otherwise nos. 7 and 13 would be 2 and 1, and the range of people in the top 20 and in the bottom 20 is pretty close to what I would have expected, with the odd person ranked surprisingly high and no one ranked surprisingly low. So if I'm right, stop doing anything on FB apart from viewing and you might discover who views you! Hope this helps-

im from ireland and some guy from america whos in the marines thats not in my friends list and i have never seen in my lifewas in my top 3 a complete stranger what does that prove i wonder!!!

I do not think it is showing the rank of people who view your page most because some profile numbers appear multiple times and in random order.

I have 2 FB accts. Account A (main; real name): & Account: B (fictitious handle; this one).

InitialChatFriendsList is definitely NOT the most recently viewed of your friends. I have a long time real world friend who JUST recently became a FB friend. Before being a FB friend he had never viewed my account A or even knew I a FB account. After adding him as a FB friend on A his FB account is not even in the list of InitialChatFriendsList He had mentioned to me that he had viewed my FB so if the listing was strictly most recent then he would be either at the top or nearby. He is neither !
Some people in my InitialChatFriendsList are NOT people who I chat with at all or recently so that also shouldn't be a criteria as to whether or not someone places high up on the list.
The one person who fluctuates between #2 on my list and # 5 is someone who I developed a closer friendship over an extended period of time. I had decided to express my feelings for her and they weren't reciprocal so I needed to cut off all communications. Once having done this, I started to view her FB from account B: (fictitious name) so there's no possibility of me as Acct A: viewing her FB. She has remained at or near the top of my FB for the last little while.
My conclusion is that the InitialChatFriendsList is a combination of FB Chats and people viewing your FB. The top 3 in my InitialChatFriendsList are those who I almost frequently FB Chat with the others are less so if at all The person who I am no longer in contact with is clearly viewing my FB because her number gets bumped up in the list order when I've learned that she has the most time in her schedule thus that's when she's viewing my FB.
Furthermore, a number that kept appearing in the # 4 or 5 position of the InitialChatFriendsList was a person who months could pass by without me seeing him in my active chat listing or him previously being there xxx mins or hours ago. I don't or rarely do view his FB timeline (6 months ago), so I turned off chat for him to see what would happen. Well, his number jumped from # 4 to # 2 position in my InitialChatFriendsList.
To all mt friends who see me on FB, I leave my pc on 24/7 and one of my Chrome tabs is almost always on FB so by me turning off this person's chat, he may be wondering if I'm still on FB and started to check out my timeline because to him I'm no longer on chat. –  NicolasLinear  Jan 11th at 6:07 PM

If InitialChatFriendsList is not who visits your profile the most, then how can the people I am friends with on Facebook, but have no interactions with get into top 10? There are normally three people I chat with, that is my mum and two friends. Mum, she is not even in top 30, but the two friends are 1 and 2. See, I am wondering about this because I know someone who barely uses his Facebook, but still he is in my top 10, and we have never talked on there.

Anyways, a couple of months ago, I asked another friend of mine when she was number 7, if she often visited my profile, and she said she sometimes did, to look at my pictures. We do not chat on Facebook.

Well, I could list up more things, but my conclusion is that InitialChatFriendsList actually is based on the people that visits your profile on Facebook the most.

"initialchatfriend" is the list of friends that shows up in side bar when you log in chat (instant messaging) if you were previously disconnected.

So, if it's people that are in my chat, why is my number 1 someone that blocked me last month?

Can anyone explain about the number after haifen? ( - )

for example XXXXXXX-2 , XXXXXXX-0, XXXXXXX-3

normally after XXXXXXX-0 , it follows with the same user ID but with "- 3"

in my case the first user ID that shows up after {"list": appears again, but with -0 and -3 ,respectively

so what do those numbers mean? would it refer to something like ... "xxxxxx-2" means the person who you have recently chatted with, "xxxxxx-0" means person whos been to your profile etc.

Im just doubting about it and I would like to figure it out , but i dont know that "elite" coding language :/

Thank you so much in advance

Okay guys, got something new here. I recently decided I should take a shot at my crush, so I sent hem a friend request. The day after he had accepted, and I had been quite stalking before that. I looked at the icfl and found out he was in 12th place. Not bad, but problaby because I stalked him. Than, an hour after that, without looking at his profile, he was at place 6! And now he is in place 1! Can somebody explain this? Thankyouuuu
P.s. I hope he is stalking me too hahaha


the order actually comes from you . who you talk to most, who you check, or who talks to you often .

Happy Helper
Ok I just started college two weeks ago and i have become fb friends with about 40 people already. I did this trick and the number one person is a guy in college, and so far we have never chatted, liked or tagged each other, or commented or anything. We became fb friends only a 2 days ago. The second person on my list is a girl I met and became fb friends with 2 days ago. We did have a short conversation but nothing more. My conclusion is how recently they viewed your profile. The number of times they viewed it would be impossible because we've only been friends in both cases for 2 days. I looked further down the list and its mostly my new college friends. It must be their view of your profile/frequency of chat.

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