Facebook has always been a go-to option for everyone who is “friends of friends” type. It is fantastic to interact with so many people, whether you know them personally or not, by sending a simple friend request. Who thought two decades back that friendship could be offered this way?
If you open your Facebook profile today, you will find the assortment of your friends’ names in a unique order. Before checking your friend list, you will find profile pictures and names of nine of your friends flashing on the screen. The question is, why do these nine people have a special place like that. What are the criteria according to which Facebook presents those nine profiles on top? Some think that Facebook presents the names you have interacted with the most. But hey, that’s not the real case. Some of these nine people may be the ones you haven’t conversed with ever. Then what is the reason behind this algorithm? This may be a minor feature, but thinking about the actual causes can blow your mind. No worries. Check out the secret reasons here.
The Secret Factors Involved
The point is, there is no ONE factor that influences the algorithm. There is a myriad of factors involved. Keeping in mind all the factors to figure out the real reason behind those nine names is not a cakewalk. The deciding elements can be many, varying from interaction to frequency. Others include profile clicks, time, and location. The following are some of these factors explained in great detail.
Interactions play a vital role in deciding the algorithm. Whether you tag a person regularly or send a simple “Hi” to him, if he is among your highest interactions, there are chances that you see his name on the top. If you communicate with certain people more than others, you might see their names on the top. This is perhaps the most common factor for which their names may be appearing separately. Communications may be in any form. It can be simple messages or comments or tags. Facebook keeps a record of the people you interact with.
Here comes an exciting factor. If you view some profiles more than others’, then you get those names on top. There are high chances Facebook will let their names flash on the top. Interestingly, there is a condition for this factor. If you view some profiles more, and they also view your profiles quite often, only then their names will appear on top. This is because Facebook has a way of collecting data about the number of views you get on your profile. The algorithm has a tendency to keep those names on top who watch your profile more often.
Interactions On Profiles
No, it does not mean regular communications. If you interact with people through profiles, then the chances are that their names will appear on top. Such interactions include post likes and comments. If you comment on certain profiles more frequently, or if you write stuff on their walls, you actually increase the chances of their name coming on top.
Communications Through Images
This one is pretty simple. If you view certain photos of your friends quite often, or vice versa, it increases their chances of being one of the nine names. Such interactions encompass everything from comments to tags. If your school best friend still tags you in all her pics, then her name will surely come before everyone else (both on Facebook and otherwise).
Your Searches Matter
If you repeatedly search for a particular name, then his name will be one of those nine. The algorithm has a way of ordering it this way. This can happen the other way round also. If someone in your friend list searches your name quite often, that his/ her name will most probably be present.
Mutual Friendships Fuel The Algorithm
If you have some mutual friends with someone in your friend list, and both of you interact with the mutual ones well, then the chances are that Facebook will highlight his name in the algorithm. Mutual Friends is an exciting concept of Facebook that enables people to make more and more friends.
The Ones Who Are More Active
If some of your friends are more active on Facebook than others on the list, the algorithm considers them relevant. Thus, Facebook brings their names before others.
Does List of Suggested Friends Follow the Same Algorithm?
No. the friend suggestions you get do not follow the same algorithm. The names that pop in the People You May Know section are not random people. Particular factors decide their presence in the section. One common factor is the Mutual Friends. Yet, other factors, too, are responsible.
The factors are as follows:
Again, if some people view your profile recurrently, Facebook will confirm whether you know them. As a result, their names will be added to the suggestions.
Other Applications Do Matter Too
If you interact with certain people on the planet elsewhere, then their names will flash. Or if you are even friends with them on other apps, and those apps are synced to Facebook, then Bingo! Facebook will want you to be friends with them on Facebook too.
Facebook keeps a check on Locations. If your friends of friends live nearby, or if you happen to visit their town on holiday, Facebook will surely add their names to the suggestions.
How To Change The Order
Well, you cannot change the order. You cannot disturb the nine names flashing on your profile. This isn’t in your hands. But you can do other things to manage your friend list. Facebook understands that not all people on your friend list can be great offline friends too. You may add some people randomly in your list, and not talk to them ever in your life. Thus, the app gives you the option of creating lists. You can classify your friends as “Close Friends,” “Acquaintances,” and “Restricted friends.” The interesting Restricted category is for those who poke their noses quite often in your life.
Graccey Leio is a self-professed security expert; she has been making the people aware of the security threats. Her passion is to write about Cybersecurity, cryptography, malware, social engineering, internet and new media. She writes for Norton security products at norton.com/setup.