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What's the "ordered friends list initial data" on Facebook mean?

What does the facebook ordered friends list initial data mean?  What is orderedfriendslist initialdata mean in Facebooks html code when you view page source?
  1. Log into facebook.
  2. Right click anywhere on the page (not on pictures or text, the white parts)
  3. Click "view page source"
  4. Press Ctrl + F
  5. Search for "orderedfriends"
  6. Copy + paste the first set of numbers below to   (ie. if the first set is 123456789 go to
  7. Are these your biggest facebook profile stalkers? 

Does facebook openly expose your biggest stalkers in the html source code "OrderedFriendsListInitialData" list?
Dec 1st, 2012

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128 Answers

Marc DiMillo
It's an unordered list of people in your chat box, the ones that reside on top of "More Friends". Contrary to popular gullible belief, it is not who has visited your page. Facebook would not store that info, and even if they did, it wouldn't be arbitrarily transmitted to the client.


"a ranked list of the people you've been stalking on Facebook"

Ian L
I call BS on Gawker's short description of the list. I'm sure this is coming out of Facebook's EdgeRank algorithm at some place or other, however as someone whose profile viewing activity doesn't match up with the list ordering here, I'd say there are a LOT more variables in the equation than simply who you view most. It's got something to do with both-ways interactions, though exactly what counts as an interaction and how those interactions are weighted is unknown.

As a side note, I probably know more of what I'm talking about than Gawker does; I do web app development for a living, and have poked around the Facebook Graph API a little (lovely API by the way; keep your stuff secure, kids!).

Could it be the friends that are viewing your own fb page?

I'm fairly certain it has to be whose looked at your page. I will willingly admit that there is one friend whose page i have visited daily for the last four weeks and they ranked 71 on my list. the only other explanation in my opinion is that it's completely random.

No way it is random. The top 10 on my list is basically how I'd expect it to play out. At least my top 6 or so interactions on FB. There are a couple in there though that are people I haven't chatted with in months and rarely view pictures or post things or even visit. And no, mine doesn't match up with my top chat box, which changes more frequently. There has to be some element of incoming interaction.

Can people tell that I've looked at their timeline?
No, Facebook does not provide a functionality that enables people to track who is viewing their timeline. Third party applications also cannot provide this functionality. If you come across an application that claims to offer this ability, we encourage you to report it. You can report applications that provide untrustworthy experiences.
This is written in facebook. Go to the down arrow at the top, click help and type:
Can people tell that I've looked at their timeline?
They say it themselves.

random person
does anyone know how to figure out the algorithim? how do you figure out how frequent these "interactions" or profile visitations are?

Maybe the first person on the list is the last person who visited your timeline? Or someone with whom you were chatting lately? I will have to check if the list changes tomorrow.

If you follow these steps shown to you in this guide, many people will believe that this is the last persons that was on your facebook page, it's not. If you do as told up here and copy/paste these numbers you will get some facebook friends to appear, but if you then after copy/pasting 3-4 of them open the list of people online in the chat atm, if you then notice that everyone that is online atm has a green dot next to their photos, but some of them also has a cellphone. That is for the people in your chat that is offline. Since the chat are just supposted to show those who are online, there will just be around 3-4 displaying offline and that is the persons you just got when you copy/pasted those ''top 3 stalkers''

It's the people in your chat list arranged alphabetically by first name. The list in the code has more names in it than are displayed. So count how many are in your chat list( 21 for me) and then go the code - the 1st 21 numbers will all be on the chat list arranged alphabetically by first name.
How they come up with the chat list is a different story.

There are people on my list whom I've never met, heard of or interacted with (on Facebook.or otherwise). It's kind of creepy honestly.

Yeah, it has nothing to do with chatting because 4 people in my top ten have never chatted me, nor have I chatted them.

Johnny B. Goode
i checked out a couple of them and they do seem like they have some sort of correlation to friend's interactions. however, i got a friend to go onto my page and he didnt jump up to the top of the list. unless there is a delayed reaction, or if it calculates total page views over a length of time, i dont think that it has any revelations on who has been "stalking" you.

I think it may be the ppl in your chat list. You can't see them all on your chat list because some of them may have chosen to "hide" that they are on chat. Just a guess...

I had a friend go on my profile eight times, and he stayed pretty low on the list, so I'm not sure if it's profile views.

It is actually the names on the chat that are offline. So if you look on chat and you have Abbi (online) Bob (offline) Dan (offline) Sam (online), the names that will appear in the orderedfriends will be Bob and Dan.

I've been checking it reasonably regularly, and I found that at one point the list changed quite a bit, with the top 3 staying the same. I assumed that it had updated or something.

Sometime later I checked and the list had exactly reverted to what it was before. This I cannot explain.

Contrary to what others have said, this is not a list of people in your side chatbar. And it is not alphabetically arranged, not by first name nor by last name. Some of the people within the first ten in the code are not at all listed in the side chatbar, regardless of whether they are online, offline, or mobile. Some people that are on the side chatbar are not on the numbers list, at least not within the first 20 or 30 (I'm pretty certain the list will contain almost all people you are friends with as almost everyone has looked at your account at least once). The list does make sense to me as most of the top people are close friends.

I believe it orders each person by the cumulative total amount of times they have viewed your page, ever.

This is definitely based on interaction, it has to be. The first 20 or so on the list are people that I interact with pretty regularly. The last 20 or so are ones I pretty much never talk to and never talk to me. The order is definitely not random, that much is clear.

It can't be cumulative interactions either - there are people higher on my list that I've added in the past few months, whereas people I've had on FB for years and used to interact with much more frequently in the past have a lower ranking. Also it can't only be talking, my number one result is someone I haven't talked to often on chat in about two months, granted I do check their profile quite often.......but would it be so high if it were not mutual?

It is DEFINITELY based on the chat side bar. I just did it and the profiles that popped up were in the same order as the people that popped up in my Chat. It has NOTHING to do with whether or not you've chatted with them. It's just the alphabetical chat list.

my top 20 are people I have a "history" of interacting with - (either mesasages or chat) - and family members

OrderedFriendsListInitialData is just a list of the people you've spoken to before in chat. It lists them from the ones you most likely want to talk to, to the least likely, from my understanding.

If you skim through some of the code that surrounds this list, it all mentions things about chat and the sidebar and whatnot. I'll buy that it is the sidebar names that are already sorted into two groups - those you are more likely to talk to and "more friends" based on whatever algorithm calculates that distinction.

I think it has nothing to do w/ chat list bec I have never chatted w/ my boyfriend on fb as we are both on bbm and he's on top of my list. It cant be interactions either bec he rarely comments on my profile as he is very antisocial.

Just Wanna Know
It has nothing to do with alphabetic order or chat because I have been trying to notice a pattern. I believe it is by the number of views by a person and most recent views.

Maybe they base the people who aren't online but still on the top of your chat on who views your profile the most? One guy is always on my chat list but listed as offline and we've never talked

It has nothing to do with chat because people were listed that were not present on the chat. It has something to do with interaction. The top of the list were people that I have interacted with a lot, not necessarily recently but cumulatively. The bottom of the list are the people that I have never talked to. This can't be a coincidence.

I would like to know this as well. I disagree about it having to do with chat. Man we need some script writers up in here.

I don't think it's chat, but wonder if it's something to do with number of interactions over time but I went to a different page I have & one of the first people to pop up was someone that isn't even my friend? Who know what the list is, for the fun of it I'm gonna believe it has something to do with who's viewing my profile or who I've had the most interactions with.

Okay, when I turn off my chat, the sidebar list goes back to the original set of people that are in my Ordered Friends list. However, when I turn the chat on, the list in my sidebar changes. This makes me think that the Ordered Friends list has something to do with the probability that you will chat or interact with that person based on a culmination of activity involving that person. However, because some people on the list I barely interact with, this leads me to believe it has something to do with how many times that person has viewed not your profile, but things like your statuses or pictures and vice versa. So, from what I'm seeing, the chat box is only related to the Ordered Friends list and not the sole purpose of it. Based on my research, I've found that basically, the Ordered Friends list has everything to do with interaction over a period of time based on a specific algorithm used to determine likelihood of interaction between two parties, which, in this case, is you and one of your friends. People might want to disprove my theory by claiming that they haven't chatted with or interacted with some people on their Ordered Friends list in months. Only two things could disprove this claim: 1) It is an algorithm based on culmination of activity over a period of time (it can be assumed that this period of time is recalculated every so often do to the ever changing state of Facebook) and 2) It has not only to do with your interaction with those people and how many times you look at their profile, like their statuses etc., but by how many times they do the same for you. This would also partly prove the theory that the Ordered Friends list has something to do with how many times a person has looked at your profile- granted it's over the period of time that the algorithm uses to calculate the list. Which means that people who you've just added could be high on the list because they would be within the time period of the next calculation.

i don't know how the algorithm arranges this friends but I just find out the the purpose of the Orderedfriendslistinitialdata.
This list that everyone is talking about it's just for reference. You can see it not only from the source code, but also if you follow these steps.

1. Open your Facebook and turn off the chat, reload the page.
2. Right-click and select source page or view source.
3. Find the list with the ID number of your friend's profile.
4. In another tab or window, open Facebook. Drag the chat list on the side bar until only one friend is showing. That's the first friend on your ordered friends list on the source code.
5. Drag the chat list just enough to see another friend on the list. The new friend that was added is the second friend on the source code.

You can keep going and the new friend that it's added to the list it's the next one in the ordered friends list. As you can see, they are not ordered alphabetically.

Unfortunately, this doesn't solve our question of how the list is ordered but at least we know what it's used for. My guess it's that once you turn on the chat, the list it's merged with the online friends and gives you a more accurate list of people to talk to.

After doing a few tests myself, and reading others responses, is it possible that it's a combination of several different factors to do with fbook? At the top of my list were friends I frequently chat with, and I also interact with them commenting tagging and liking and poking and such. I take a lot of pictures, so some friends that popped up that I photographed but don't really interact with other than tagging. Also, I have some friends who I tag in photos and check in with A LOT, but they're never on fbook because they have no internet. I think they comprised a formula of total interaction- a heavy one being chat, another heavy one being tags, then likes, comments, poking, etc. I'm not sure if hit counts even come into the picture.

does anyone have any idea about timeframe?
coz I noticed I was speaking to this girl HEAPS once, but then had a falling out and neither of us have spoken to each other for about a year. She used to always be on my chatbox, but isn't anymore.

But then, my ex gf of six months is still in my top 5 despite the fact I have been on her profile maybe once in the last four months. Think that means she's checking up on me, or is just lingering from six months ago? I'm a bit concerned that she's still stalking me...
I noticed above its says 24hours_times. So maybe in the last 24h? I have no idea how to interpret any of this stuff but I noticed that above it. Maybe someone else knows but just point it out. –  gregerson  Dec 8th, 2012 at 2:56 AM

Everyone, I've heard that it's ordered by the number of times someone has *visited your Facebook page*, not by how many times you interact or how many times you look at theirs. Basically, it's the people "stalking" you.

How often do you think it updates? Based on the HTML I thought it HAD to be the chat bar, but I'm talking to someone right now on chat, and I talked to him yesterday too, and he's not in the top ten. It almost looks like a list of the last people I talked to on facebook chat, but he should be on there then.

It's based on pages you visit regularly. I'm guilty of Facebook stalking people I think are hot, and surprise surprise they're in my top 10. Surrounding them are my closest friends who I also visit their profile regularly.

Out of the 30 or 40 people listed maybe only 4 or 5 are my close friends, and they are not even in my top 10. I have never chatted with or even visited the profile of a large number of these people. Depending where/when i click the list alternates between 3 versions, but my number one is always the same. I honestly can't figure this out.

I've ruled out alphabetical order, frequency of messages/general interaction/online offline status ect.

I can only presume it's actually the page views because nothing else really fits with the people I've got on there and say I've met a new person and we're speaking on facebook they end up higher on the list, but the first person on the list is someone I never chat to.

My list shocked me..! Number one was an ex I haven't spoken to on facebook for a year. He never likes or comments any of my posts, last time he did was in March or April. Admittedly, I was going to his page a lot earlier this year. Now I rarely visit his page, but he's still number he stalking me or is that evidence of MY stalking HIM? hahaha. Super curious. The rest would correlate--my best friend, sister, etc. I rarely use chat anymore and I've never chatted with my sister....

I looked at and even recorded the first 100 people on my ordered list page, About 95% of the people on the list were people who I would expect to look at my profile or at least pictures I've tagged people in. The top few were my close friends and my mom and sister which made sense and only a handful of people I were surprised about. I just graduated high school and the majority of the list were my friends from high school and half the list I never interact with on facebook but I would not be surprised if they look at my pictures occasionally when I tag them. Out of the 900 friends and half of which I don't talk to, the only people that came up were my friends. I'm not sure what this means but from my situation it would make sense that these are the people that either click on my profile or look through pictures I tag our friends in.
Oh and I noticed that many of the last people I interacted with were not the list, which I was not surprised about because I know them less and would expect them to look at my profile less

So the friends lists that are to the left of your news feed definitely play some sort of role in this. A few months ago, I added a guy to my Close Friends list (the lists you click on to see all activity by that person, also the family, work, and school lists). Yesterday, he was number one on my ordered list page. Out of curiosity, I took him off of my Close Friends list, and today he's number 5 on the ordered list page.

Which a)means the ordered friends does in fact update and b)your friends lists on the sidebar contribute to this mysterious order of friends

This still leaves so many questions though........................

On my list, the first one was (*ehhem*) my mom and then my three best friends followed by an aunt. I never interact with the top three people on my list (there's no need to when I can text them or walk in the other room, I'm not heartless I swear) the rest of the list filled out with the occasional friend or family member, but other than that it was simply people who I never talk to on FB or in RL. The only possible answer:
Case closed.

I've had a Facebook page for 8 months and have never added a friend, not once. There are over 200 numbers in the ordered friends list in the code. I HAVE NO FACEBOOK FRIENDS. I have only visited a few pages of other people, ever. How is there an ordered list of 200 numbers/friends if I have ZERO?

Hey guys if you notice there is a correlation with the people who are available on their mobile device. I checked and the top 4 people are the people with a cellphone icon in the chat menu :) If someone want to discuss that msg me on facebok. you can find me by typing

I also doubt is has to do with the chat bar. The top two people were offline when I checked. Several random people I've barely visited on Facebook appeared in my top ten. I think it's just the list of people who visit your page most often.

The answer is simple, we will never know who stalks us and who views our profile every day. I'm pretty sure we all had a fairly good idea anyway and we definitely are well aware of who we feel the need to visit all the time! Wishful thinking.....

it´s combination of what you all said. and with the chat it´s the other way round.
the offline chat order is determined by the list of your closet friends - this way fb wants to make you
switch on your chat. they show you a list of ppl who might be online and the most appealing to you.

the list is made out of several factors which are weighed differently:
- which groups ur in
- whom u click on who clicks u
- whose links/videos u watch/who wateches ur stuff
- whose stuff u like/who likes ur stuff
- who is in ur close friends list
- who hides stuff to
- who u have ever tagged one, who tags u
- how many mutual friends u have
- if u live in the same city
- if u go to same college
AND SO ON! its math.

Ok, i've read all of the comments but i'm still in doubt, so i'm just gonna point what happened to me:
My friend made this test and her top 20 were people she never even spoke to, which makes me thing more about the "people stalking you" theory. HOWEVER, her #1 stalker is my friend too, but they never speak (they don't hate each other btw) and both of them agreed that they never even visited each other's profile page.

I'm still thinking this is an algorithm that counts the people you've most talked to and the people you've most chatted with.
PS: It couldn't be the people you most visited the profile because my crush is #14 on my list and i check her page quite frequently.
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