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How does Facebook determine which Friends appear on your Facebook Profile sidebar?

Why do some Facebook friends appear more often on your Facebook Profile sidebar. Is there a known reason why some friends picture will show up more than others in the facebook sidebar?

215 Answers

I believe it determines who you last interacted with.

I think it has something to do with the people watching my profile often or i watch their profiles often. In my list there are a guy who is watching my profile time to time 100%, there are 8 of my actual real life friends, however with some of them i rarely interact on fb, but we are in some groups. The other one why i came to this conclusion is there is a girl i met a week ago, i watched her profile often in this week, but im also quite sure she's interested in me, i could say it's 100% she watched my profile in this week a few times and bam she appeared in my sidebar. The other thing i would mention, i think it has something to do with the facebook chat as well, considering i very rarely interact with my other friends neither they with me, i mean a very few likes or posts or other stuff (once in a month), but talking in chat like every second day.
my personal observation

My top two friends never change. The first makes perfect sense - likes, comments and we chat constantly. Second one is my boyfriend and although we don't have much public interaction, we chat all the time. As for the rest, I think it's the people who visited most recently. Of course, I don't know for sure but here's why I think that:

I have a friend who I don't talk to that often. I hardly ever see his name in my sidebar, BUT when I DO see it...he almost always messages me soon after. So either he was just looking at my page and decided to message me, or facebook was telling me he was about to message me.

I have about 3 or 4 women in my list. some of them i had relationship with and some of them they had feelings for me, so i think for sure it depend partly by the people who view my profile the most because it can't be a coincidence having all 4 girls in my profile page at once

So if the same people show up on my Facebook sidebar all the time, then is it a safe bet that I show up on theirs as well?

Facebook (and the government) basically know everything about you because of what you post online and what tendencies your IP address tends to interact.

ok well I'm a stalker of someone who definitely does not get on at all yet he is always on the side bar there you go now its out in the open lol

I think it's people who's profile you look at a lot/vice versa

i am pretty sure they are the people that look at your wall and people you interact with. my boyfriend has created an account just to see my posts (he doesn't like facebook so he doesn't want a real account). he is always on the chat bar and i never interact with him on FB since he never posts anything. the other people are the people interact with the most. so i think it's a mix between people that visit your wall and people you interact with. Also, when someone has been connected, they appear on the chat bar soon after if they are people you interact with.

My guess would be...the people that appear at the top of you
Friend list on your sidebar would be the people who are the
Most active on FB. I notice the friends at the top of my list
Are ones who post or comment all day long.


I'm pretty sure that it is the people who you interact with the most PLUS who is stalking you. At first I thought it was just your closest friends, people you've just become friends with and some random people facebook puts in ,but I noticed a lot of situations that made me change my mind. For example, when I broke up with my boyfriend I knew for sure he was still thinking about me because one of my closest friends is his bf and she told me so. Then, when I posted the pictures of my birthday on fb months later, he popped up at the top of my sidebar and my friend told me he said I was very gorgeous in that dress. Besides, there are a few people I don't know well (although we're friends on fb) that appear on the sidebar when, for example, we meet somewhere by chance (although we don't say hello to each other) or when we go out together with other people. At first I thought that these apparently "random" people are those I write to or those whose profiles I view the most, but I've neither chatted with them on fb nor visited their profiles. I think fb explains all of this by officially saying it's an algorhytm or something, but the real thing is they're your stalkers :P


I've been curious about this for a long time and here's what I have gathered.

I 100% think it has to do with who is viewing you. It's a competition that lasts the entire time that that person has been your friend on facebook even if you deleted each other and became friends again. I see it as people earning points based on WHAT they view. If you make a comment on a post and they see it, there's a point. Viewing your pictures, your posts (even if it's just because they are having a conversation with you), your wall, or anything else they get points. That's why someone who's dead would still appear in top friends because they've accumulated so many points that no one can surpass them.

I was confused why my top friend was this girl who I never really knew that well offline, but recently when I hadn't been making posts, she commented on my wall asking why I hadn't been posting, so I knew she must have been checking it. No one EVER bypasses her. I don't find it weird. I get why she might be checking, but it's not important.

The guy who I have a crush on, but don't visit his profile very often nor interact with publicly is often on my top friends, and so are two of his friends who I rarely ever interact with. I never looked at one of his friends profile pages, but he was always there right in the center. His other friend comes and gos on my friends list (we will call her Pat), and I'm pretty sure she is just in a battle with the other people that view my stuff less often than my top 6 people.

The thing I found strange for a while is whenever Pat is not on my list of friends, my crush jumps to the third position, but when ever Pat reappears he would jump down to what appears to be the 6th position. The only thing I could gather from that is when she's not looking at my stuff he is and when she is, he isn't, but either way they are reporting to each other for whatever reason.

Next thing, for a long time he was always on my top friends and despite me checking his page a lot (at that time), he had disappeared. At one point, after something happened offline between us, he reappeared. When a misunderstanding happened between me and him and his two friends, they disappeared. I think that when someone unfollows your posts, they disappear from your top friends. When they refollow you, they'll reappear as long as they have enough "points" to do so.

Also, no matter how many times I check their profiles or like and/or comment their posts they don't move at all, but when I haven't interacted with them, they'll move up again in my friends list. I'm guessing they are just wondering where I disappeared to and are checking on me.

I also have a hunch about who appears in your chat, but instead of going into that fully I'll just say that if you use facebook on your phone, Facebook is seeing who you text and changing their position in your chat window.

I think they list who is visiting your stuff the most because it's Facebook's way of saying these people care about you and see you as important in some way, so why don't you go visit them, too?


It's a combination of who you interact with and who views your page. My sidebar friends have changed from a week ago because I have interacted with these people frequently. But if you really want to know who looks at your page the most go into your friend search and type the first letter of the name of your suspected stalkers. The person/people with that letter will be at the top. My ex was all the w.ay at the bottom of my friends list for months. I made sure not to look at her page at all. But her picture has moved up the list from the bottom of 300 friends to the middle and occasionally to the top. Im recently involved in stage productions so I have a lot of videos and pictures of those shows up. She'd definitely watching me. and when I typed the letter of her first name in the search she was right at the top. Now she rarely makes it to my sidebar because there are way more people I interact with than her. So it's a combination of who you interact with and who views your page. Im sure of it.


It's definitely who looks at you, who you look at, and a couple randoms. I know for a fact because I unsubscribed from my crush's posts a while ago and haven't visited his page since and he still shows up on my sidebar. We haven't had many interactions on facebook and aren't tagged on anything. We have like 2 mutual friends. I've been trying to get him off my sidebar so I visit other good friends and look through their pictures just to throw off facebook and I message several people back and forth and he STILL appears higher than them on my list. Higher than my best friend, and her and I have been tagged on the same pictures lately and are part of a group. I'm telling you, it's him. He's a nervous mess around me. I still like him though, he's such a sweetheart <3


It seems that people responding to this thread are talking about 2 different things. Some seem to be talking about the sidebar on the right, while others seem to be talking about the group of nine on the left.

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