Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is that really random?


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tbear
tbear's picture
I am Here to learn from others from NY, NY
Member for 6 years 6 weeks
GuG-Points: 107

I'm just wondering, supposedly the Facebook list of the 6 friends or whoever that show up on someone's profile rotate randomly. However, I've noticed on a friends page the same person seems to keep popping up much more often than anyone else, which would lead me to believe its not random.  Does anyone know about this? Does it mean my friend is looking at that profile that keeps popping up or something to that effect or is it really just random?

I do know that you can have the friend box set to display the same friends all the time (using the edit tool in the friend box). But since the other names are different I know that is not what happened in this case. 

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Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook list of friends
I have a friend who has been dead for 3 years now, and she is ALWAYS on the top of the list, in the exact same spot! Started freaking me out, because I thought it was who viewed you the most, then I thought it was random. But she and one other I don't interact with, are always there.
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
How do I get the friend list on my to rotate its locked with same people my ex has on his page, it stopped rotating maybe he set this?
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
Well, it shows me friends who are dead, so I can assure you they're not checking out my profile... there goes that idea.
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...

I agree with the person who said Facebook could only be the number 1 social site by cheating its way there, i too believe there is the stalker/viewer issue and i will give you my reasons. On that note you would have to see my research to make your own decision:

Firstly after breaking up with my ex girlfriend i actually stopped using facebook completely (i kind of realized it is number 1 killer for relationships). anyway knowing that my ex deleted and blocked me i noticed she still had a fake profile added to my profile, this was back from the days we used to double gift eachother on farmville etc. This fake profile though kept turning up on my friends list on the left side even 5-12 months after that breakup, that means the profile must have been stalking me. I rarely go on facebook.

Another more crazy one is the 'close friends' thing that appears at the top of the list, my family appears in 5 of 8 friends suggested but then guess what? 3 of the 8 people all have some relation to that ex girlfriend i just talked about and no i havent talked to her or been anywhere near her for 2 years! I hardly log in lol. My point is that these 3 people are as follows: her mum, her aunt and her best friend. Coincidence? I doubt it.. Her mum rarely uses Facebook so she must be looking at my profile (if it aint her its the ex logging into her account). Her aunt uses Facebook alittle more but she has 300 friends like most on my list, i mean why is it not my best friends who appear in the suggestions? Then finally my exes best friend, i believe it could be because she is online a lot but FOR 3 people who know my ex well just seems to good to be true.

I dont say this because i like my ex still but because it makes sense, facebook does track your followers or stalkers (if we can call it that). Take from that what you will but to me it is obvious.

JR889 (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...

Just replying to my own comment, i forgot to add that when Facebook say 'its who you interact with most' this an easy way out for them to give a vague answer that cant be worked out in its entirety. The interacting could class as viewing another's profile, whether they combine it with other attributes i'm not sure. I always had a feeling that some people appear because it is 'mutual' viewing, meaning they look at you and you look at them but i doubt its that complicated. I have never looked at many peoples profiles on there but still they turn up on my list, i mean it could be someone else but its not.

Katie (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
I kept seeing my ex on my list. I was hoping he was always viewing my FaceBook, unfortunately, I noticed that the rotation was a random selection of friends who are mobile and half were who I listed as "family."
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...

Alternatively, paste in this URL:
https://www.facebook.com/ajax/typeahead/search/first_degree.php?__a=1&filter=user&viewer=***userid***&token=&stale_ok=0

and replace ***userid*** with your User ID number found in your facebook profile URL to see the same list of people facebook thinks you stalk and loads pre-emptively when you activate the search box. I suspect some of them may rank highly because they search you...

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...

Not random. Much as though I love random generation. Personally, I wonder if their looking at our page, or either you or them having each other on newsfeed matters?

Most of mine are people I interact with reasonably regularly, as expected. There are a few who I don't interact with frequently, and don't interact with me much. They've not gone madly liking all my stuff or leaving comments. Nor have I looked at their profiles since I added them months ago. Yet they come up rather than others I interact with much more heavily. I don't feature on their pages, nor would I expect to as they have plenty of close friends on FaceBook.

But these people do go on Facebook more often than most, so it's possible even if we don't directly interact it's they just check my page more due to boredom or nostalgia or interest. Luckily I'm quite selective about my friends so I'm unworried by that, but it is intriguing...Plenty of people believe the 'random' people who come up are likely to look at their profiles. That might be wishful thinking if they are exes or crushes - I can see why we can't let what one may hope is true cloud judgement. However I have friends who I interact with around as infrequently, but I don't think are very interested in me (now distant friends on there for nostalgia's sake)and these people never come up Sad It would make sense that they just aren't as interested, rarely look at my page, or don't have me on their news feed.

It's not based purely on mutual friends, as the friendship group I have the most mutual friends with doesn't often show up there (most of them are hardly ever on facebook, I email/text/meet them instead) so don't interact much with me there. So that's expected. I can imagine that number of tags together factors, as does time since last interaction, stuff like that.

To summarise, it doesn't appear purely random (otherwise those we don't interact with at all would be rotated through, and it wouldn't stick on a few people that ALWAYS SEEM TO BE THERE- even people with relatively few friends have a large group they interact with relatively infrequently with)

It's not those whose pages you visit the most or most recently (which is private info FaceBook claims it doesn't release, because I have barely ever been on some of these people's pages...)It's not purely based on interacting with people recently or a lot (lots of people claim that they have not interacted with some of these people recently or much)

But it may also factor in how much they visit your page? (which is also private info)A lot of people think so, and I wonder if that might explain the outliers that people wonder about.I like the suggestion that it might be those logged in right then, or logged in by phone (though when I checked, it wasn't the case...). I don't think there's one simple answer, probably all of these play into it.

This guy seems to have an interesting theory:
http://www.science20.com/alchemist/who_stalking_you_facebook_who_your_biggest_fan-75911

So far nobody's mentioned news feed, but I noticed it's all people I have on newsfeed, but never people who I have on news feed who I suspect have long deleted me off it (I have some lovely friends LOL)...

Whilst I don't believe random selection is impossible, I also know sites like Facebook would totally spend a lot of time developing algorithms thinking they can do better than simply featuring random people. They work hard trying to predict what will interest their users, targeting things to their audience. Perhaps they're trying to get you to connect with people you don't normally interact with (to rekindle old friendships or whatever), or perhaps they reckon that if someone's looking at your page, you're probably interested in them... who knows?

Other interesting opinions on the same topic:
http://www.gotknowhow.com/answers/how-does-facebook-determine-which-friends-appear-on-your-profile-sidebar
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110730122908AAXBEgq
http://www.shinyshiny.tv/2010/12/the_facebook_friends_box_how_it_chooses_who_to_display.html

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, ...
So is it in fact people whose pages YOU visit the most, or people who visit you or both? I notice that my crush is on my profile rotation pics but mine is not on hers but we do interact quite a bit on facebook? also, other people who I don't interact with much or at all appear on mine and I appear on theirs....
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, ...
I doubt it's people whose pages I visit most. On mine it's neither those whose pages I like most often necessarily, and I've not checked some of their profiles in months...
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
Like everyone else in here, the friends listed on my profile are almost always the samen. BUT,I have noticed the last few times i've met someone irl who i haven't talked to in a long time, he or she shows up on my profile the next time i check, along with the 9 usual friends. I actually met two people the other night, who i've never communicated with on facebook, and they both showed up on my friend list the next day. Then a day or two later, the person is gone again.. How do you explain THAT?!
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
I think it is somewhat random. Everyday I look at my crush's profile, but not even one day my name popped up in her list. Also in my friend list, many a time there are no doubt some people whom I interact with frequently, but there are also some people whom I do not know with whom I do not communicate publicly or through chat. And the same list of people appear almost everyday.
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
As everyone has concluded, it certainly is not random. Facebook don't seem to want to communicate on the issue, which I think is because there is a lot more monitoring of our facebook movements going on than we'd believe. My personal theory is that its a combination of things. I think it certainly includes a mix of the pages you have been viewing. I don't necessarily think its to do with who has been viewing your page at all. Take for example a good friend of mine. He has over 500 facebook friends - many of them I know. Over the past few years of viewing his profile, the same type of people generally show up. Now recently, something happened which made me interested in a distant relative of his (whom he is friends with, but has never publically interacted with and has one friend in common with, no photos, no mutual groups etc). I started viewing this relative's page a few times. Low and behold, every time I now visit my friend's page, this certain relative appears on the friends list almost every time. Prior to my viewing, they had never shown up. I think facebook somehow discovers the people who we have interest in on the site. I think it remembers if we search for a particular person, or view particular friends of friends. I also think it shows people who it knows we have some kind of connection with. It links together a lot of data from your viewing, searching, tags etc. I think we know for sure that facebook's statement that it is those you publically interact with the most is not always true (there may be a few people in there from that category, but some people will also show who you never publically interact with). My theory is, like some others have said, that its like advertising - it remembers what we want, determines who our relationships are with, who we are paranoid about (maybe an ex boyfriend/girlfriend), the people we know better than others etc. It also sometimes throws in a few randoms to keep the list looking like a random selection. None of this is tested, but these are my theories.
Mr.SouthMetroAtlanta (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
I agree with this most recent statement. We'd be foolish to assume that the #1 social network Online would be free and innocent. With a team of highly intelligent and skilled workers to work the Face book site, they have access to eyes, ears, and minds that could serve as a critical tool to government at various levels. Sad to say it but I've gotten a few "pings" that indicates if you're not using Face book to deal with purely social, every day issues, then we are monitored. What you create and share, and the tone of it could easily become an issue. If you didn't know before...you do now.
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
I have 465 friends on facebook, and I recently just went and refreshed my page a few times to see who showed up each time. THE SAME SIX PEOPL SHOWED UP EVERY TIME O.o Lol just in a different order. I dont have it set like this, so it seems to me it rally is just about who you interact with the most.
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
it's who views your profile the most
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
Took me a while to find this forum but I interact on Facebook EVERYDAY and have about 130 friends. There's one person (former classmate) who shows on my rotating list most every time I log on yet we never interact. I somehow believe there are Facebook bots (a person) who might be monitoring content by groups of people in various locations and just maybe they have the ability to censor some of what we post - or worse, the government could have spies checking things out. It's just a gut feeling because these are the times we live in.
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...

I checked this whole theroy out on my FaceBook profile page this morning...and it would seem that if certain people show up on your rotation list of friends that they are the ones that:
1. you have interacted with in the last couple of weeks? or
2. they have visited your page in the last couple of weeks.

I only say this because there was one person that keeps showing up on my friends rotation list every time I refresh it..and I did it 30 times? and he was always there in every list...now I don't mind it, that he looks, because I kinda like him, but my question is this? does he show up because he is just logged in alot? or because he is checking out me and things on my page?

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
My girlfriend and I chose not to be FaceBook friends because of the anxiety it causes us. She has a lot of guy friends because of her line of work, and I'd rather not see or know about them. I'm trying to develop a sense of trust. However, we have mutual friends, and I notice everytime I go on one guys particular page, my girlfriend's photograph is ALWAYS either at the top, or somewhere in the mix of top profiles..is this a coincidence, or does it mean they are always communicating? It's making me wonder why that is so...Any ideas?
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
Hi, I have noticed the exact same thing, it is not a random selection
photo of member named
Hubby
insert witty description here
I am a Grown Up Geek
Re: Facebook list of friends
Akar Rongpi Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook list of friends
Hi i am Akar Rongpi do you want to be my friend
Libbi (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...

Per Facebook's Help Center.....

"Which friends appear in the left column of my profile?
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.

You can choose custom friends to highlight.
In addition to your general list of friends, you can choose to feature specific friends (e.g., best friends, roommates or coworkers) or groups to which you belong. Learn how to do this here.

Your family and relationship partner appear here, too.
If you choose to add family members or a relationship to your profile, those people will also be featured in the left column.
/help/?faq=19427"

So from this I would surmise .... It is about who we interact with the most or have in the past commented on their posts, attend the same functions, know the same people, or like the same things. It has nothing to do with us viewing their profiles or them viewing ours. Viewing is private to all but the viewer. Hope this helps Smile

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
It think it must have to do with who is looking at your page because there is a guy I barely know who's posts I never see in my feed and who's page I NEVER visit and he is ALWAYS near the top of my Friends list! Other than that I see people who I interact for sure. It's got to be about who is looking at us to some extent.
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
The brainiacs at Facebook must surely have an answer for this. Would be nice to hear the truth about what the string of "friends" indicate on both the left and right hand side of the page. Also, the green light beside names does NOT indicate someone is actually in chat it seems.
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
a couple of people turn up continuously; even after I refresh but with the 2 people I keep seeing turn up, I don't have any contact with them over facebook-no wall posts, no inboxes, no chat, no tags, no pokes...nothing...please explain?
Capn Mac (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
Come on, 13 posts, no answers and everybody is curious. Seems if the Iphone can track your every move, facebook must be seeing this forum and is: a) Happy as a clam nobody knows the system or b) they have the net filtering "facebook" and we will get answer soon. Either way, love to know how it works
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
I've wondered a million times about this. There is an application on FaceBook now called Friend Buzz that will show who are your "top" (top 12) friends, and, it's based on some algorithm, likely the frequency with which one is on your page. You'll be surprised because it will also include people who aren't even your Friends, likely (I had 2 show up once on mine...an x-friend and someone else who is constantly in the top 12 that I don't even know). And, if this application is true (and I have reasons to believe it is), the friend rotation on FaceBook has no significance to who views your profile most, because the Friend Buzz results doesn't correspond with those who are always at the top of my list. Yeah, I was disappointed too, but not surprised. My guess is, those who show up most frequently at the top of your list are the friends most frequently on FaceBook.
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Facebook - When you see the rotating list of friends, is ...
I have a dummy account on FaceBook and it explains a lot! Also helps to figure out my privacy settings. Sometimes "she" is my friend and other times I defriend her. Either way, when "she" looks at my personal account, a completely different set of friends show up from what I see when I am logged onto my account. If she is friends with my sister and me, then she sees people on my friends list who are friends with BOTH my sister and me. So the friends list you see rotating on your wall are different from what your friends each see and from what non-friends see. It seems that FaceBook chooses (defaults to) who they think you want to see on your friends' walls (example, went to school together, from same state, etc) and who you want to see on your own wall(those you check most often and those who check you most often).
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Facebook rotating list of friends
I like this answer. Thanks.

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