Monday, April 8, 2013

The Nine Friends on Facebook Timeline (Or the Sad Tale of How Zuckerberg Ruined Facebook)

11/12/2013 UPDATE:  The algorithm has changed, as of November 2013.  The most recent theories can now be found HERE

Remember the good old days, when life was super swell, and everyone was happy all the time, and the world itself was so nauseated by the collective awesomeness of humanity that it vomited up rainbows and sunshine each morning?

If you answered yes, then you are either a delusional old white man in a position of power in the Republican party OR you remember a time before Facebook ruined Timeline by taking away the six friends box at the top.  We here at the B Channel have already lamented the loss of the six friends box in a previous post, but that does not mean we have to stop being bitter about it.

For the uninitiated, the box of six friends at the top of one's Facebook profile has, for as long as Timeline has been in existence, been the subject of rampant speculation and discussion, the main focus being on whether it is possible to discern if someone is stalking you (or vice versa).  With the new Timeline overhaul, the dynamic six friends box has disappeared - along with its slightly less interesting eight-friends-box cousin - and been replaced with a static nine box configuration which is basically the dumbest thing ever.

Please allow me to walk you through the last week of my life through the eyes of the new NINE FRIENDS BOX. 

Sometime over Easter weekend, my Timeline switched over.  My original nine were arranged thusly:


Number 1 made sense; I have exchanged more private messages with this person than anyone else recently on Facebook.  (Although no "public" interaction - likes, comments, etc. - which suggests messages are weighted heavily.) 

Number 2 is one of my closest friends; we interact accordingly. 

Number 3, see above.

Number 4 is my brother.

Number 5 is another family member that I interact with frequently.

Number 6 is yet another close friend.  She rivals Numbers 2 and 3 when it comes to interaction with me.

Numbers 7, 8, and 9 are all family members I very rarely (if ever) interact with in any capacity, although all three seemed to get "stuck" in my Top 25 (as discussed in the comments of this extremely exciting entry), and all three are listed as family members on my profile.

So we have six that make sense and three that kind of don't make sense but also don't completely not make sense.  (If that makes sense.)  

One of the most annoying things about The Nine is that they don't rearrange when you refresh your profile.  On the one hand, this makes it seem as if their ranking is more meaningful than the previous six and eight boxes, which were subject to frequent and real-time change.

On the other hand, the static nature of The Nine seems to, by default, remove all of the mystery.  No one has (yet) showed up briefly and disappeared, no one who wasn't already in my Top 25 has made an appearance, and though I've purposefully increased my interaction with a couple of people not in my Nine, while simultaneously stopping my interaction with a couple who are in my Nine, this has made no difference whatsoever in terms of who the Nine are.

Over the last week, I chronicled every single change in my Nine.  Here are the riveting results:

April 1 (one day after original order):


 April 3 (back to original order):


Later on April 3:


April 8:


The most interesting thing I can say about the changes is that both times Numbers 1 and 2 have switched, it's been on a Monday.  The first switch happened right after I sent a message to Number 1; forty-eight hours later, Number 1 was back to being number one.  Today (April 8) I sent a message to Number 2 right after she was bumped up, so I would imagine she'll remain in the top slot now for a while.

Do you see how boring this is?  How lame? 

WHAT IS THE POINT OF LOGGING INTO FACEBOOK ANYMORE.

There is none.  Checking my profile is now like looking into a dark, empty abyss of sad nothingness.  I mean for Christ's sake, if I wanted to look at unchanging rows of pictures of my friends, I'd pull out a damn yearbook.

This is no good, Zuck.  No.  Good.

242 comments:

  1. Day 3 , no new notifications , nothing clicked and no movement on my 9

    slow going but perfect from my point of view. As long as I don't interact and I see some movement in my boxes I can keep the theories going :)

    mark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I need something to keep me going on all this, so again, please let me know what you figure out!! :)

      (I'm also going to continue my experiments in terms of seeing if I can manipulate who shows up. Since there seems to be at least a one- to two-day lag in terms of activity having an effect on order, maybe something will interesting will happen to my nine yet. Let's hope so anyway...)

      Delete
  2. Having people in different lists ( closes friends, friends, aquaintances etc ) will have a bearing. You are chosing to place them lower down the league table. Part of my experimenting is all to do with who visits me without me posting something. It's easy for somebody to be reminded of you if you happen to post a funny status, joke or whatever ... What interests us conspirators is ..who visits because they think of you without any prodding

    FB also has a memory , if you have blocked and then unblocked somebody, chances are ( I have noticed) they no longer appear as people you may no. People you simply remove from friends... do turn up. Which seems slightly odd

    So for those of us who are bugged by seeing somebody we choose to no longer be friends with ...try blocking/ unblocking and check that out

    Of course there are theories as to why the same faces turn up in that list too :)

    mark

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have 2 on in my 9 who are on the restricted list btw. - whilst one of them is on place 1 - but we have a rather active communication - and the other changes between places 4-9 ... whilst I haven'T had any communication with him since august last year

      Number 2+3 still haven't changed at all.

      Annie Sasha

      Delete
    2. So blocking is rated differently than unfriending. Very interesting (and strange!). I know (in part because I used to fully subscribe to it) that there's a theory about the "people you may know" being people who have checked out your profile, although there seems to be quite a bit of argument around that. I'm still undecided on that one...

      Sasha, that is *really* bizarre that you would have people on your restricted list show up on your nine!! So apparently that doesn't have as much of an effect on the ranking as interaction does. Huh.

      I came over here to report that, despite my hypothesis above that Numbers 2 and 1 would remain in their positions because of my message exchange with Number 2, in fact they switched back this morning. Nothing else has changed. (What the hell?)

      The most viable theory I can come up with at this point is that Mark Zuckerberg periodically personally mixes things up on my page because he knows it'll confuse me.

      Delete
    3. actually 3 of my 9 are on the restricted list - completely forgot I put that one person "out".

      HA! I guess that is it: Zuck messes with yours and those of your friends (as we all seem to experience different "changes" or none of them) to keep you on your toes aka drive you insane

      Sasha

      Delete
  3. You have to bear in mind , we can look at limiting our interactions from our end .. but we can only speculate about those who click on us. Quite often had to move ex's and such onto restricted , doesn't mean FB doesn't take into account the vast amount of interactions before I did that. Just because the traffic from her to my profile is no longer as much , it could be a while before somebody else beats that score... but it's all hypothesis :)

    As for skimming through a crush's photos... clicking on every link they provide like a breadcrumb trail... hmmm maybe FB gives you a hint ( putting them into the top 9) and maybe they don't come to your profile more than your normal friends who really like you :)

    I'll leave my interactions at 0 .. and see what we I can see .. If it's nothing , shame I guess... but worth a week or so's less FB use

    mark :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I totally agree, and that was the one main thing that I kept trying to bring up with the six friends discussion: we have no idea what the other person's activity is, but we also aren't always the best judges of our *own* activity. It can be easy to see things that might not necessarily be there simply because we aren't always aware of how much our own activity is influencing thing.

      The only real way to test the theory is, like you're doing, do absolutely nothing on your end, thus removing that unknown from the equation. So...we shall see!! :)

      Delete
  4. I can only add at this point the following:

    the one of the 3 I put on the restricted, again we haven't had any contact since Aug 12
    AND
    if you click on "see friendship" - which I did today to see what would come up - there is nothing but the day we became friends on FB

    Annie Sasha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. P.S: we only always communicated via messages, no "public" convo of any kind

      Delete
    2. I definitely think messages are being proven to be a major influence...

      Delete
  5. I don't know which I find more fascinating - the theories themselves or the energy you put on the theories :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apparently I have nothing better to do. :D :D :D No, I love this stuff!! (For whatever reason!) I'm just glad there appears to be an audience out there who's as interested in it as I am. This post is already proving to be quite popular. :)

      Delete
  6. COMPLETELY off topic . . are you listening to Jake's narration of The Great Gatsby available over at Audible.com??? It was released this morning. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Er, I knew absolutely nothing about this. I take it you're enjoying it?? :D

      Delete
  7. Hello Becky, saw your post from the old thread, so i came over here!!

    I still havent got the 9 box yet. So maybe this means the 6 box theories where meaningless???

    What do you think??

    ~A

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll never believe our theories were meaningless!! :) Actually, I think if anything it means the exact opposite, because why change things up so radically if none of it meant anything?! (Or maybe I'm just telling myself that to make myself feel better for all those hours of my life I spent thinking about something that now has no relevance. :))

      Honestly, I feel a little creeped out by the thought of Facebook trying to tell me who's most important in my life based on my interactions. Nothing about this nine business sits right with me. :-/

      Delete
    2. I look forward to the day that Facebook decides to stop including in the panel of six friends the person I have an unrequited crush on (despite minimal fb interaction).

      It'd be nice to not be reminded of her every time I log in.

      Delete
    3. Are you a regular visitor to their profile ? One of the things that got my attention was an ex of mine a few years ago was always there in the 6 and I was like "what are you doing on my profile page again ?" which sparked my curiosity. I would guess that every click to "their page" or ours , would be logged by FB , whether they will ever allow us to know is debatable. We all know that they have all the information , how often we log on for, where we go , whose photos we gaze at the most etc etc

      Of course we often see what we want to see which keeps me grounded on my assumptions, speculation and the theories are fun umho

      mark

      Delete
  8. Hmm...so you still think the 6 box showed more insights into things?

    The 9 box seems simple - its just based on interactions, no space to see who may be visiting your profile etc

    And if you put people in the Family list, that still gives them more weight

    ~A

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you're exactly right, and that's what makes the nine box so much less interesting and also, yes, less informative. The only problem with the six box was that we weren't sure what the information meant that we were looking at! (But at least it was fun to keep guessing at it...)

      Delete
  9. I still can't see your Box o' 9! I guess I won't be able to until my Timeline changes? Stupid Facebook. I want to know who your numbers are!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're not changed over either?! Come on, Facebook! Although when it happens, you'll see a different nine than I do, which makes it all the more annoying!!!!

      (You're Number 6 in the above illustrations, and I honestly find it surprising you aren't higher than that!! Whenever you switch I'll be really anxious to hear if I'm in your nine and, if so, where I rank!)

      Delete
  10. Becky, I somehow believe your theory even though my experience has been different. I haven't been here in a bit because I don't get on Facebook that often so I don't have much to offer. I decided to come today to see what is new, if anything. I was shocked to read that Facebook has changed especially since I logged in on the 8th of this month and everything appeared to be the same as far as my account goes.

    I did send a request to someone I follow on Twitter and logged out. He accepted within maybe 30 minutes I was already signed in so I could post something, and I noticed he was added to my list off to the right. My top friend list still appears to be the same, people I rarely interact with. But as it was discussed maybe for some it's because we don't login as often as others. I am always amazed at what others have to add here so I will check in again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I definitely think the people who don't log in as much are getting a slightly different view of it than those (like me) who log in compulsively.

      Further proof, though, as to how creepy all of this is...I was out with some friends last night and one was asking me about another friend of mine and if we were dating (I socialize in a pretty gossipy group). This morning, I logged into Facebook, and for the first time I can ever remember, I was prompted to list my relationship status (!). Of course it's possible that that was a coincidence...but I do know that my clicking habits have changed recently, and I suspect that, far more likely than chance, I was prompted because of my behavior. Despite the fact that I'm currently single, it seems like Facebook "watched" me and came to the same conclusion as someone who was paying attention to my actions in real life. Creepy. (And perhaps proof that I should log in less!)

      Delete
    2. Very interesting. That reminds me of my situation regarding using my laptop again. Indeed that is creepy but it's obvious Facebook knows a little too much about our habits as users.

      Delete
  11. Becky, are you familiar with the Facebook friends list at thekeesh.com? http://thekeesh.com/2013/03/updated-facebook-friends-ranking-bookmarklet-to-work-with-graph-search/

    Do your nine reflect the list? (I'm on non graph search fb, and the bookmarklet doesn't work for me).

    I also wonder if my list of 25 friends in the small profile pic box reflects the top 25 in the list, and that the "permanent" ones are simply closest to the top and much less volatile in terms of positioning compared to 20-25

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. THANK YOU FOR THIS!! I was really disappointed when that bookmarklet stopped working...I had no idea there was an updated version!

      But no (!!). The top two people on my bookmarklet list are in my nine, but everyone else, including the person who is currently residing in the top position in my nine, are scattered way down on the list. Weird! Graph Search has its own separate (and baffling) ordering system of your friends, and when I pull up the Graph Search view, the top two from the bookmarklet are the top two, but after that, it's back to being (seemingly) much more randomized.

      In fact, there's only one person who's consistent - number two on Graph Search, the nine, and the bookmarklet. I wonder if that's a coincidence or it there's something to that.

      Very, very few of the people at the top of the list were ever in my top 25... I can see my profile views strongly reflected in these numbers, but I'm also surprised by a substantial number of the rankings. The plot thickens.

      Delete
  12. Or you can try this one:
    http://www.piliapp.com/event/facebook-ordered-friends/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoa, that's the best one, yet!! This makes more sense than just about anything to me...and, interestingly, the person I mentioned in my comment above as being number two across the board is listed here as my top friend. For once, a list that seems to actually reflect my Facebook activity!

      Delete
    2. Fascinating -- it seems that thekeesh.com and this other site have different methods for generating their lists.

      How much overlap is there between the top 25 in two lists?

      Delete
    3. I am laughing out loud at myself for what I wrote earlier. OF COURSE the piliapp one made sense to me - it is, unquestionably, the exact same list as the top 25. (I thought it looked familiar!)

      With the bookmarklet, on the other hand, I see almost no correlation at all.

      Delete
    4. Really? Not for me. Strange.

      Delete
    5. Wow, that one blew my mind. The top two people on there are the only non-relatives on my nine -- my best friend and my ex-girlfriend. The rest of the list is pretty much in tow with what I'd expect as well in the first 30-40. A couple randoms who I never interact with start showing up after that, but damn, that's good.

      Delete
    6. This is just the ordered chat list for me. View Page Source + Ctrl F Search for "list": (including quotes and colon). The numbers that follow "list": show the order of friends in your chat box (minus acquaintances). Each number represents a friend. Copy and paste number after facebook.com/ to show friend. Piliapp gives me the same results.

      Delete
    7. You don't even have to view page source and CTRLF that.

      Just go offline on your chat list, then move the chat list up and down(click on the top part of the chat box to see the arrows then press and hold) to see the order.

      Delete
    8. Yep- the only reason you might want to do Ctrl F is to see where acquaintances rank. Since they don't show up in the sidebar.

      Delete
    9. They show up for me on the chat sidebar.

      Delete
    10. Hmmm... maybe it is different for everyone.

      Delete
    11. This seemed pretty accurate to me until about a week ago, when everything was massively reshuffled and people I know don't communicate with me or glance at my page all of a sudden showed up at the top of the list when they hadn't been in the top 200 before. I'm wondering if Facebook figured out this loophole and reshuffled the formula again.

      Delete
  13. btw. as you mentioned above messages might be a strong indicator on to who is in the 9 ... I have one I talke to regularly via messages and "in public" and that person is not in the 9

    first 3 still haven't changed at all
    4-9 are pretty much the same, changing places every now and again - but the persons stay practically the same

    Annie Sasha

    weird... still not getting it

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hmm can't generate a keesh list and that seems to work for some but not for others. Reading back about it , it makes sense that it did offer a fair amount of insight and was broken due to FB changes, which they do quite regularly.

    My 9, has changed slightly, same people slightly different positions with little clicking by me. Am on the waiting list for "graph search"

    what's most infuriating at the moment is 2/3 ( nearly constantly) are two people showing as people you may know, that I unfriended ... the saga continues....

    (mark)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here -- the top 25 friends on the piliapp list don't all show up in the panel of six small friend pics.

      I think the lowest ranking person whose picture shows up is ranked 41. There are people both higher and lower ranked than her that I interact with (and vice versa)

      Delete
    2. Yes,for me too about the top 25. They don't all show up in the 6 box.

      Delete
    3. Very interesting...and since I haven't actually had my 25 to refer to since my Timeline switched over (and thus am making assumptions based on who was listed before and who *would* have been listed in the interim based on my interactions), this could easily be a case of me seeing what I want to see.

      I'd say the consensus here is that the piliapp list and the Top 25 are not the same list...

      Delete
    4. As a follow-up, I haven't done anything on FB all weekend, redid my piliapp list, and (aside from number 1), almost none of the top people were in the same positions. The most noticeable change was a drop from number 5 to number 38. I think this list is very clearly more dynamic than the 25. Which...huh.

      Delete
  15. Becky, I have to admit right out the gate that I only read the first 511 comments and had to stop at some point. ;) So, if someone's already pointed this out, then...oops! But, as to private messages factoring in--I'm not so sure. My live-in and I communicate back and forth through FB messages quite a lot and I definitely do more so w/him than any other friend but...I don't ever go to his page or even comment that much on his posts (that sounds worse than it is...really). As for him, I sincerely doubt he visits my profile either since all he has to do to see me is look downstairs at the couch. But...he is a bit kinder and more attentive than me and he does frequently "like" my posts, pics, etc...yet he never shows up in my 9 (or my 6 or 8 b/f that, either). And I don't seem to show up in his. So??? hmmm...if messages factored in, I'd think we'd definitely be showing up in each others but never do and never have. The mystery lingers...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for adding this!! That definitely throws a wrench in things, but in a good way, since it probably means for those of us who assumed messages were being weighted heavily that there is actually some other component that we hadn't factored in.

      I think this is the first case anyone has shared where there has been a lot of messaging but never an appearance in the 6 or 8. There's gotta be something to that.

      Delete
  16. Hey people!! So, from any of this can we figure out who has been looking at our profiles at all??

    ~A

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going to say no, but I would love for someone to disagree with me on that!! :)

      Delete
    2. It seems unlikely. FB don't really want us to know for sure, and they are scared that the information being available could cause them problems, privacy.. drop in subs etc

      The 9 ,6,8 or whatever list you look at is more likely to be a shortcut , self generated top friends list imho.

      The only true way to know if somebody has visited your profile is when that person comments on old news / old photos . Anybody can see the latest news feed

      Now we know FB uses an algo for determining which news we are more interested in. They are careful to not let us know too much but there is a chance they offer us clues every so often and we know for sure hackers and programmers are trying to glean this info. The early keesh lists by all accounts ( of those posting on that forum) were convinced by people appearing they never visited or even knew.

      I am keeping an eye on my 9 box as there is a person there who never comments, we never message and I have rarely visited, never see on chat etc. All it is , without any idea of why... is coincidence for now. We are often seeing what we want to see ... or something similar :) (mark)

      Delete
    3. "They are careful to not let us know too much but there is a chance they offer us clues every so often and we know for sure hackers and programmers are trying to glean this info."

      For me, what you call "clues" I call that weaknesses of their algorithm. Why should they offer clues to us, if they are scared ?

      Facebook people read everything written about their site believe me, and every time somebody were near the truth, they changed it. They use our findings and observations to improve it. I know it because I commented on an another site, where there are a lot of theories. We were experimenting our findings, and when something was interesting, they changed it immediately!

      Zuc wouldn't change it like that so often, if he was sure of his stuff.;)


      "The only true way to know if somebody has visited your profile is when that person comments on old news / old photos . Anybody can see the latest news feed"


      I won't lie, but now I don't look at profile anymore. I do and read everything via news feed.

      Delete
    4. I mean, I don't comment at old news, but I look at it. And it seems that all my friends do the same. So it's a bit difficult.

      Delete
    5. Lau, I couldn't agree with you more. I believe Facebook is aware that some of us have caught on to what they were/are doing, otherwise why would they change the algorithm. I'm pretty they have come up with lousy excuses as to why they change things so they won't give clue that they are aware we have caught on. Why would we no longer see what we once did.

      Delete
    6. Yes. I don't believe what they say. Excuses, that's it. You're totally right.

      Delete
  17. My mom, brother, two cousins, one of my best friends, two really good friends, an old friend from a car club I used to be active in (we don't really communicate much anymore), and a friend I've had a thing for since 1998 are in my top 9, in no particular order. It sucks that the people in my top 8 prior to the Timeline change seem to be stuck there for the time being.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Well as a follow up , no more change on my 9 , few position changes, slightly but having read a lot more theories that are dotted around the net I did want to point out to those reading about one particular discovery.

    Searches ... via your activity log are saved and even though you can remove them, they will still be relevant. I looked up a page of a TV show a while ago, visited the page but didn't like it or register for updates etc but it's still the first page highlighted if I enter a search for the letter b under pages that might interest me

    If you have visited a profile of somebody you may know, it's likely they will be high up in the list of people should you revisit their profile

    have a look for yourselves and perhaps see who you have been looking at. It seems clear to me that even though I have removed my searches from my activity list / search... FB remembers.

    So the people you may know is still throwing up somebody I defriended and that bugs me slightly. One of my 9 (9th box) is still unmoved and apart from 1 visit, no likes on either side and no messages I am puzzled why she is there but with no proof..not worth serious thinking time.

    If mutual profile visits do push people up the charts , hmmm worth contemplating

    (mark)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have, on more than one occasion, typed every letter of the alphabet into my search box just to see what comes up. Mostly, this has been a sobering exercise in my obvious stalking habits. But every once in a while, something crops up that's unexpected.

      I know you must be right on the searches being saved regardless of whether or not you delete them. I have people "stuck" in my search findings from *forever* ago, which is highly annoying.

      In fact, I think we're seeing a pattern here of profiles getting "stuck" across the board, regardless of what aspect of Facebook we're looking at.

      But back to the matter at hand, like everyone else, I would certainly be interested in finding out *for sure* if mutual profile views make a difference...

      Delete
  19. Question (because I don't know that we've specifically covered this): Does anyone here have someone in their 9 that they stalk but are unsure if this person stalks them back? I'm talking about people you have no interaction with at all, aside from looking at their profile?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sort of, with a twist.

      For 8/9, there is regular mutual interaction.

      A few months ago, I visited the remaining person's profile/liked/private messaged quite a bit, but have since stopped doing so. My current activity (including profile visits) is pretty light. I suspect that the person doesn't visit my profile much at all. These leads me to suspect that FB doesn't easily forget about a history of heavy interaction, even if it's one-sided and somewhat remote.

      Delete
    2. Yes 1 person in my 9 (9th box) No likes , no messages within the last year and maybe 3-4 total, no chat and perhaps 2 profile visits from me. 6 months ago I wrote on her wall for her birthday.. thats's the lot.

      Perfectly plausible that people click on your links, view your photos that appear in feed etc without commenting and clicking. It's all traffic on your personal site imho ( your own fb page )

      just theories.

      (mark)

      Delete
    3. Wholeheartedly agree both on Facebook not "forgetting" AND on the importance of clicking links/photos/etc. I also am really intrigued by the comment below because that's the first confirmation we've gotten on a person showing up based on solely profile views. (Which, until now, I wasn't sure was possible with this new system!)

      I feel like they haven't thought this through very well, though, with the way our nine never seem to change. What if there's someone in your nine you have a falling out with and don't want to look at? Are you stuck with them forever? I like all the people in my nine (or at least I do at the moment) but even at that I'm getting sick of looking at them...

      Delete
    4. Someone I used to like, showed up on my #3 box twice on my top 9. Once yesterday for the whole day, and then last week.

      I haven't had any interaction with her since October. I rarely view her profile page, but I have her on my acquaintance list, and I check it almost daily (as a habit). I occasionally take her out of my aquaintance list and put her back also just to test things myself. When I put her in my aquaintance list, she stops showing up in my top 9.

      One thing I have noticed for sure though.. Is that Top 9 is linked to your facebook friend list(they will be in the top rows) as well as your friends names that show up in "find friend."

      Delete
  20. Very interesting discussion. I enjoyed reading all the theories :)

    I indeed have someone like that Becky! I have been stalking this person (my ex) for a long time and we never really exchanged messages and I don't do anything like commenting or liking, I just simply visit his profile. I'm pretty sure he doesn't stalk me. I got him on the old 6 friends box frequently and now he seems to be stuck at the 2nd place on my 9 friends box!

    I feel like FB is showing me friends who I stalk the most. The number 1 is also someone I recently started to visit more often. However, except for these 2, the others seem pretty random!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for this!! I think this proves, maybe more so than anything else so far, that our own activity is likely the primary determinant (at least for the people at the top of the list).

      I think it also suggests that there is a correlation between how the nine are chosen and how the six (twenty-five) were chosen! Awesome that we have confirmation someone can appear based on profile views alone...

      Delete
    2. Somebody needs to give the following a try. Next time you add a new person who you are sure doesn't like you that way , visit their profile constantly, cycle through their whole profile regularly enough that you are creating traffic from you ..to their profile without liking, messaging, commenting, chatting etc etc

      If as loads of us think, it's a score based top friends ( 9 box) list or shortcuts to whom FB thinks you are friendlier with... then we need to try and make a score that beats all the others outside the top 9

      (mark)

      Delete
    3. Excellent idea!! (In fact, if anyone wants to friend me and try this, go for it.)

      And as a quick follow-up, is there anyone in anyone's nine who is a new friend?? I think the newest person in my nine has been my friend for about a year...

      Delete
    4. I should also add - I had another profile I created in the old FB days to check how my profile looked to friends. A while ago I started experimenting to see if visiting my profile from this fake profile would put it on my 6 friends box. So I visited myself a lot from that profile for a while and guess what? It started to appear on the 6 friends box more often when I was visiting. And there is absolutely 0 activity except for profile visits - and I never visit that profile myself. I cannot see it on the 9 though, perhaps because it has always been the same 9 so far.

      Also, I know this is not valid anymore but I had another theory I'd like to share about the two different 6 friends boxes. Not sure if this was covered but I thought that the little one showed the ones we interact with (like visiting their profiles) and the other larger 6 were the ones that interacted with us. Simple reason being that fake profile always appeared on the large 6 boxes and that when somebody commented on my status or profile, they appeared on the large box. Conversely, when I visited someone's profile or commented on their thing, they tended to appear on the little boxes.
      Did anybody else notice such a pattern?

      Anon from yesterday!

      Delete
    5. That very well could be the case with the old arrangement, especially since the bigger six (which later became eight) was visible to everyone who visited your profile while the smaller six was only visible to you. Because of that, it would make sense that the bigger boxes might be more determined by "public" activity coming *into* your profile rather than the other way around.

      Although I have to say, I think you're the first person to confirm that you definitely had someone (yourself) show up somewhere that you, personally, had *no* interaction with or profile views of (!). That's definitely sobering. If your fake profile ever shows up in the nine, please let us know!!

      Delete
    6. Becky asked if anyone in their 9 is a new friend. I just added someone 2 weeks ago and they've been in my top 9 pretty much since I added them. We've chatted only once, but we've both liked each others statuses and he's written on my wall three times (I've never written on his). However, I'm also pretty sure we're both mutually crushing on each other and stalking the other's profile - which maybe explains it.

      Delete
  21. I'VE GOT ACTIVITY!

    One of my friends in the 9 was replaced today. I've been friends with the new person for about six months. Not much in terms of interaction until he posted a large photo album last week which I've cycled through a few times. Unsure if he's been to my profile, but I have no specific reason to believe this to be the case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. anon above ^^^ try and not interact at all now :) no visits , clicks , comments and messages and see how long it takes for them to dissapear ( if at all)

      from my own observations I have forced my 1-2 to swap around with messages, comments and views. I am going back to 0 FB for the week and see what transpires.

      (mark)

      Delete
    2. Will do, and will keep you posted.

      - (anon with activity)

      Delete
    3. After less than 48 hours, the replaced friend returned.

      Any ideas on how I should experiment? Try to bring back the person who was briefly in the 9?

      Delete
    4. Maybe try going to his profile once a day? Either to look through the album again (since that seems to be what triggered his appearance in your nine in the first place) or even just to scroll through old posts. Nothing overtly stalkerish, but just a glance at his profile (as opposed to clicking on something through your newsfeed) once a day and see when/if he shows back up. That might give us some more insight into how much profile views are playing a part in all of this...

      (Sidenote: I'm very jealous you had a change!!!! So it IS possible... :))

      Delete
    5. And through no deliberate effort on my part, after less than two days, the two have switched again -- the replacer ("friend 2") has once again replaced the original ("friend 1").

      Since my last post, I've had essentially no interaction with either party.

      I am intrigued but also frustrated by this turn of events. I wouldn't mind seeing less of friend 1 (one of the original 9), but can easily name many other friends I'd expect to see before friend 2.

      What the eff, FB.

      Delete
    6. That is what I did with my friend. I would visit his page a lot to look at his pictures, and before I knew his pictures, likes and posts/comments started streaming my newsfeed. Though I don't get on as much or visit his page there is still some traffic from him. I logged into Facebook the other day, there was a picture of his so liked it just because. I went to my timeline and still my 6 are people I rarely interact with. After a few refreshes and for whatever reason my eyes were drawn over to my 9 and his picture was there. I don't recall ever seeing it there. I refreshed the page a few times and it would rotate. So I wonder if my 6 and 9 have been switched.

      Delete
  22. More activity. Friend 2 has been replaced by another user (friend 3).

    Friend 3 and I have a longstanding history of mutual interaction, and has always ranked highly (like top 5) on my keesh list, piliapp list, and used to regularly show up on my 6 and 8 boxes.

    I was actually surprised when he didn't show up on my 9 box initially!

    I can't think of any single reason that would have driven this change - I liked a couple of his posts late last week, and he did the same to one of mine on Sunday. I visit his profile regularly, but hadn't done so more so than usual lately.

    - anon with activity

    ReplyDelete
  23. Couple of points, pay less attention to who you know you stalk. The early reports of the keesh list seemed to indicate it did show names of those who visted / searched for you but things were changed on FB's end which left it as a list of whom you stalked. We know who we look at. Same for the ordered friends list..

    The edgerank algo was a filter designed to show you the news that IT thought you were more interested in. It's very possible it uses views from your end ( maybe both ways )but it's not something they want us to be able to know. If you are liking loads of peoples things, chatting, commenting regularly then the algo has a lot more to work with.

    If you try and sit back, react less, chat less , comment and like less for a while we may get a better idea if profile views play a part at all.

    Look at the 9 as a shortcut to what FB thinks are your closest friends, based on your behaviour. If you alter your behaviour we might see if your friends behaviour alters your list. FB has said it's based on the last 6 weeks interactions, so the experiment should be for us to do less for 6 weeks and see what the algo believes we want to see in our news feed / 9 box

    (mark)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Haha I thought I was the only one obsessing over this! Good to know I'm not alone :) I totally agree...the unchanging list take the fun out of things.

    ReplyDelete
  25. LOL As part of the experiment, I visited the authors Facebook profile. Now I cleared my searches after visiting and cycling through a few dozen photos. Lo and behold if I type in the letter H in search, whose page appears....

    We might not save our searches but FB definitely does.

    On another note the only non mover in my 9 box is number 9 still which makes little sense as there is no interaction from either side and I can't fathom why she is still there. Trying not to ponder it too much

    The people you may know list keeps getting populated, I click x on any I don't know, even if they have a few mutual friends. I do know some of them but don't add everybody, especially if I have never really got to know them. I did have somebody pop onto the list for 48 hours and then dissapear. When I type the first letter of her name into search , she is the first non friend appearing. I don't think that's a coincidence at all. We have a few mutual friends (1 serious ex ) but have never met


    So that's my advice to those reading the theories , you might be creating links, even if you just search and click. You are definitely not clearing searches from FB database and your clicks are likely leaving a trail of breadcrumbs. Whether the algo is utilising your searches and clicks.... they won't admit it...

    So Becky, should you see somebody with my first name appear on your people you may know list, it was just a flying visit ( Nice photos btw )

    (mark)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll watch for Marks in my "people you may know"! (This will be a really good experiment to see if that particular theory proves true. :))

      Delete
  26. It's definitely affected by who looks at your profile. I tried an experiment with a friend, since we've both always been in each others' boxes (both the six and eight, now the nine). We're not related, we're not dating, and we're not "close friends" on Facebook. We rarely even "like" each others statuses, and have only sent a few pm's. There are people who, logically, should be much higher up on my list than he is. For two weeks, we intentionally had no interaction at all on Facebook. We each unchecked "show in news feed" for the other's profile to eliminate accidental clicking. Slowly but surely, we kept dropping down in each others' "nine." Today, my friend visited my timeline, but didn't click on anything. I didn't visit his. Even so, he jumped back up to #9 almost immediately. When he looked through a photo album I had posted later, he jumped up to #6. Again, without me looking at his profile at all, without him "liking" or commenting on any of the photos, and without either of us putting us back on the other's newsfeed. It seems like it is dictated in part, by past interactions. But that we have been in each other's boxes at all would seem to be based almost solely on mutual profile/photo/status views.

    At least in our case, that seems to be a factor:)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I also found your assessment to be totally accurate when viewing my own timeline. I have found, however that if you view your timeline through someone else's login, or go to the "View As - Public/Other Person" section of the Privacy Settings, that it seems to follow the old "stalking" algorithim. Not as quick and easy of an ego boost (or what have you), but still there!! All is not lost!! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you mean the "View As" for the public view, or for a specific person?? I've tried with several different friends and my list seems to switch based on the friend (?).

      Delete
  28. In the month or so since the change, I've had a total of one person change out of the nine. My ex-girlfriend has been substituted for a friend of mine who I saw three weeks ago and interact regularly with on Facebook. The two of them have exchange places in the No. 9 spot every day over the past couple. The other eight, which have been static besides some shuffling, are my best friend and seven family members. Of the seven family members, both of my sisters and both of my brothers are on there, which makes sense since I interact with all of them pretty regularly. The other three are my aunt (don't interact with her much on Facebook but she'll like my statuses and always show up in the Top 25), my oldest cousin (same description as aunt) and my grandmother (who I've never talked to on Facebook and I'm pretty sure has no idea how to log on to the thing).

    ReplyDelete
  29. I've noticed that the order of friends on my Friends page perfectly matches that of the 9 box. #10 and #11 on the page occasionally make appearances on the 9 box in lieu of #9.

    Is this the case for other users? I had always thought that the Friends page was separate from the 6/8/9 boxes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mine don't match up at all!! Anybody else?

      Delete
    2. All mine are looking the same, the 6 from the mobile app on my iphone , the 8 look like the top 8 ( from the about page) look like the top 8 out of my 9 from my main page ( mark)

      Delete
    3. Since the new top 9 isn't interesting, I've been paying attention to the order of my friends in my friends list. It seems to me that the top 40 or so people make sense, then it gets a lot more random after those 40. One person who has consistently been in my 27 to 32 position (or in the 13th through 16th row of friends) is a girl I haven't communicated with AT ALL since August on fb. I still wonder if she checks my page considering my other top 40 friends (or 20 rows) are people I commonly interact with. Perhaps it's a spill over from increased activity prior to August, but that seems like a long time to have this hold over effect. Maybe start to pay attention to that list instead of the boring top 9! Just a thought.
      -S

      Delete
    4. The non-family members that show up on my nine are No. 1 and No. 3 on my piliapp. Sometimes No. 3 switches out with No. 15.

      Delete
    5. That's what I was saying. The entire friends list is more interesting. My crush is at the top, he was in the middle before. And I don't stalk or look at his stuff....

      Delete
  30. It seems as if the 9 box and friends list work differently for each user...

    ReplyDelete
  31. My crush went from the middle of my friendlist straight to the top. He is also constantly in the top 9 ever since I got the new profile (spot 8). Needless to say I am trying to avoid him whereever I can, cause he got probably not the same feelings. How is that possible? Is he looking at my stuff or is it me draging him there by former stalking?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been monitoring my lists pretty closely the past few weeks and I'm more convinced than ever that there is some sort of lag. I say this because I messaged two people on my friends list about a month ago - people I never usually have any interaction with/stalk/whatever - and they initially moved up my list, then fell back down, but then moved back up and stayed there (?). I suppose it's *possible* that both did some massive stalking job on my profile and that caused the change, but I think it much more likely that it just took a little while for the messaging to really "sink in."

      For the past few days, I've been messaging with an old friend whom I haven't talked to in years; to test this theory, I'll be paying close attention in the weeks ahead as to how he moves up my lists...

      Delete
    2. Anonymous, are you meaning the friend list off to the right? If so, this has happened to me. The guy I oogle over used to be in the middle now he's third. I was just on Facebook and so much has changed for me. I recently made a friend and a lot of his posts are making it to my wall but that's it. Another friend of mine who posts a lot and we have communicated a great deal through private messages and have commented on each other posts, but she's not showing in either of my boxes. The guy I google over he's no longer showing in either box but he's now a top friend. I peeked at his page and there weren't many updates. I even looked at a few pictures but nothing much from him lately. I'm thinking he hasn't been getting on much lately.

      Delete
  32. Until just last week I never gave the list any thought. Now I'm insanely curious.

    Since the new timeline profile went into effect my 9 box has been pretty static with the exception of some changing of positions and once or twice the person in the 9 box switching out with someone else, but then almost immediately like the next refresh switching back. Another time the person in the 9 box switched, but it was with the same person it switched to first. Then the next day he was back in my 9 box again.

    As an aside, 4 of the people in my 9 box are people I have very little interaction with. Aside from a couple PMs with very very occasionally. The other 4 I have a lot of interaction with and the person in the 9 box is a guy I'm crushing on and stalked his profile for a bit. But haven't in a few weeks.

    After I read a few posts in regards to the friends box I came across this post and the comments and started looking at my friends list and found that the same people in the box stay pretty high up in my friends list. Whatever that means I don't know. But I do find it curious.

    -Jenna

    ReplyDelete
  33. It is so ridiculous, I can't imagine why someone who shows no interest in me at all, should stuck in that damn 9 friendbox on the left side. I've been avoiding him. He jumped up that damn list right to the top. How the h*** is that possible? Is there any explanation?
    The other 8 friends are the ones I message the most (right order based on the amount of chating)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have the same issue with a friend who I had a falling out with this fall. I've visited her profile a couple times since then, but we haven't interacted in several months. Still, she seems stuck in the middle of my 9. This makes me think history, mutual friends, and maybe facebook activity might factor in... is this person of yours someone you've known for a long time? Do you have lots of mutual friends? Is he on FB a lot?

      Delete
    2. Mutual friends might not have much to do with it. #3 ex crush has no mutual friends with me. But I do think saved history/past facebook activity, and maybe profile views has something to do with it.

      Delete
    3. @Marea Yes he is a lot on FB. But the last week he went down to his normal place on my friendlist, nearly at the bottom. Needless to say he still stays put on his beloved #8 spot on the 9 friendbox. I have been today on his profile just out of plain boredom. So maybe he just goes up again . At least it would be a proof that I am causing his place on my friendlist. There is no explanation for his behavior. I've just met him a couple of times, last time at least 2 years ago. I might should add that he is a really big player (or wannabe), but our only(!) mutual friend is the worst chatter-box on earth, so I can't delete him without causing any major gossip. And I really wanna know what he is up to, if he is causing this.
      SO is it possible that he is facebook stalking me? And for what kind of purpose?

      Delete
  34. No explanation that can be proved with any certainty. My 9th , finally switched with number 10 for a week, then re-appeared back in her usual spot. No interaction with me at all. I think if they visit us, without clicking, FB makes a note of it and registers something , somewhere. The TOS states they take note of whose timelines we search for and visit and I have been making sure I didn't visit that particular profile ever since I came here to discuss it with the OP and her lovely blog.

    I can't prove it at all , but I feel slightly more confident that the 9 box is showing us who we interact with, visit, who visits us the most. Number 9 is somebody I have not messaged in over a year (apart from 1 birthday wall post) there have been no likes and nothing else to report. I did look at her profile a few times ( 20 photos and a few profile visits) maybe 5 months ago and it makes little sense for her to be there, higher up the standings than some others whom I have clicked far more regularly and more recently.

    I am still baffled and trying not to attribute a dangerous dose of confirmation bias to my theories.

    All I suggest, if you think you have a visitor.... do absolutely nothing for a good while

    (mark) still clicking on Beckys profile once per day :P

    ReplyDelete
  35. Still no random Marks showing up my People You May Know! (And also, perhaps comfortingly, no Marks that I don't know show up when I type "Mark" into my search bar. We may finally be putting that particular hypothesis to rest...)

    So my number 1 (who is sometimes number 2) got stuck at number 2 and then I, in a moment of weakness, spent some time on this person's profile. Twelve hours later, yup, back to number 1. This person has switched back to number 1 on several occasions when I did *not* look (nor did I interact), but if ever there was a clear case of my actions influencing the list, this is it. So not that we needed confirmation, but yes, stalking from your end definitely counts.

    There are several people who, based on interactions, are candidates for making debuts in my nine at some point. Because I seem to lack some self control in terms of stopping my looking, perhaps I should switch my contribution to this experiment to looking a lot and seeing what/how that changes anything!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hehe search a few pages of people / mark just to be sure. I'll pop onto the profile for a while longer just to be sure :)


      Worth remembering how we list people ( close friend, friends etc) may differ to how they list us ..that may have a bearing too
      (mark)

      Delete
    2. Haha, I mindlessly scrolled through until I had about two or three hundred people and then I just searched for Mark! Unless you live in Memphis and we have nine or more mutual friends, you're (so far) in the clear. :)

      And yes, really good call on us not knowing how other people list us. Without having full access to another person's account, there are going to be some variables there just aren't any way of figuring out. :-/

      Delete
  36. I noticed something interesting for the past 3 days.

    Ex-crush shows up at #3 box for the whole day, but dissapears at night (10-11pm) completely from the top 9 list, but comes back early in the day again.


    Also, the top 9 box is linked to the order of your friends in your friends list, as well as what friends show up on the left side, when you refresh, on "Find Friends."

    When the girl I used to like stopped showing up at night, her name wouldn't show up on Find Friends, and she'd be all the way down on my friends list.

    I haven't two way interacted with her in any way on FB since last October. I rarely visit her page, and I've kept her mostly under my acquaintance list(except for the past 3 days), but out of habit, I have checked my acquaintance list every day for a year or so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also I agree that top 9 seems to be based off of

      1. people you chat/message the most
      2. any mutual listed family members
      3. people that have the most mutual interaction with

      But my ex crush is the exception. Like I said, I haven't interacted with her since October(no likes, comments, pms/chats), and I rarely went to her FB, though not until recently, just a few times. But still. So it seems likely that profile and picture views count then also. Though I don't know if its 100% mutual..


      My question is.. When was data fb gathered, counted towards top 9? A year ago? 6 months? Since you became friends with that person?

      Delete
    2. If I move any of my top 9 from friends to aquaintances , they move straight out of the 9 and number 10 moves in.

      Number 9 for a long while , drifted down to 10 and have now switched yet again.

      As discussed elsewhere , we have no real idea how others list us but if we assign them a higher rank ( close, friend, etc , possibly family) then FB seems to place them higher up

      I have nobody listed as family or close friends, a straight split of friends / aquaintances

      (mark)

      Delete
    3. Yep, you're right. I've known the acquaintance one or a while, but I just checked the close friends... And it makes sense.

      Delete
    4. Seems like anyone I put on my close friends list, goes all the way up to the #1 spot. Even if they weren't originally in the top 9 to begin with.

      Delete
  37. Okay- here's a conundrum. Guy I have a crush on who *may* have a crush on me has been bobbing and weaving out of my nine since I got the new Timeline. I don't check his page that often (once a week, maybe) and we've only exchanged one or two private messages in the past year. I do click on things in the stalker feed when I see them, but still- that's maybe once a week. Otherwise, neither of us has ever liked or commented on the other's posts. No public interactions whatsoever.

    With the other (relatively stable) nine, I usually exchange a few messages a week, at least. Some every day. Yet, this guy has been #1 more than once. My bff- usually #1- and I "like" everything that we post, send multiple messages everyday, and are tagged in a bazillion photos together. Yet, guy crush even displaces *her* at times, once every week or so). The next day, though, he might not even be in the top nine. Then the next day he'll reappear at #4, and by the afternoon be gone again.

    I took this to be a weird Facebook thing, until I tracked it with my friends list. It's the same thing. Most of the time, he's in my second group of twenty (and usually hovering around #15 or #16 on my friends box). There have been weeks, though, where he's stayed at the top of my friends list (usually #1 or #2 in my friends box), then times where he's dead bottom in my friends list and nowhere to be found in the nine box.

    My guess is that he switches me between "friend" and "acquaintance" on his end, or clicks or unclicks "show in newsfeed." I haven't changed how I interact with his page, so that's the only way I can account for the sudden jumps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same exact thing is happening to me in the scenario I described earlier, including the placements on the friends list(from being in the first group twenty, to the 2nd or 3rd).

      Only difference is she's #3 spot.

      Delete
    2. I wish I could say my crush is jumping on and off the 9. He is stuck right between my best friend (only one on my close friends list) and the other friends I interact pretty much every day (liking each others stuff, msg, chat,...) I do not look at his stuff. Two friends of my 9box swapped, so I can assure it is based on mutual communication.
      I think that its mutual viewing, you can not pull someone in the 9 box unless he/she is also viewing your photos, posts or whatever they're interested in. Or maybe they've put us on the close friends list, to make sure not to miss a single like.

      Delete
  38. This is so interesting! Becky, thanks for starting this discussion! I thought I'd add my own observations:

    So, as with many of y'all, my curiosity about this began with a crush on a boy who's in my top 9. He's currently #1, and yep, I'm wondering if this could indicate a mutual something-something. I was viewing his profile a couple times a day for a couple weeks, but have stayed away for about a week and it has yet to make a difference.

    He does like/comment on my posts once in a awhile, and we message each other a few times per year, but I interact with others in my top 9 a whole lot more. Except for his girlfriend, who is barely an acquaintance and is at #4 (wtf?).

    One interesting thing to note: my mom's friend who comments/likes/shares ~80% of my posts isn't in my top nine, which makes me think that the algorithm looks more closely at who I'm stalking rather than the other way around. I tried to play around with this by doing my own little experiment. For the past week, I've been visiting a certain friend's profile 10x/day to see if I can get her into the top 9 - this morning her fiancé showed up as #9! My other 8 have stayed put, but their order jumps around a bit - except for my crush, who is always #1. My friend's fiancé is much more active on facebook than she is; I wonder if this a contributing factor?

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thought I'd share a comment I found on another site:

    " one of my facebook friends stays on the top of the list and i never visited his profile. but i then i borrowed his laptop, and saw his browser history, it appeared that he visited my facebook profile a couple of time every day."

    This is interesting, if it's true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice. Where did you find this?

      Delete
    2. I found it here: http://www.askmefast.com/How_does_facebook_determine_which_shows_top_9_of_friends-qna748061.html

      Delete
    3. I just realized that we need more info. Even though that person claims that they never visit their friend's profile.. They didn't say anything about how often they interact with each other through comments, likes, and private messages/chats. Those can play bigger factors..

      Delete
    4. Then again, like I said before.. Person I used to like has been on my #3 spot for days and she's...

      1. not listed as a close friend
      2. isn't listed as a family member
      3. we have no mutual friends
      4. I haven't had any mutual interactions for +6 months. I sent her a PM last October 2012, and I haven't liked or commented on any of her content since July 2012.
      5. Was mostly on my acquaintance list since last summer.
      6. Hardly ever view her profile directly, though I did very recently, a few times in the last 30 days, and have clicked on pictures like 2-3 times.
      7. She's not even in my top 20 friends on my friends list. Somewhere between 30-40.

      However..
      1. In the past, I kind of checked on her through the acquaintance list
      2. Before this timeline update, when we first got the top 8 boxes, and the 6 boxes in April, she showed up often in the 6 boxs, and was #1 on my top 8 box for a while. Back when I viewed her profile more often I guess. But this was over a year ago.
      3. There's another girl in my top 9, usually floating on positions 7-9. I've commented/liked her statuses a few times, and looked at her profile a couple of times, and look at her photos but they were several months back. Occasionally every now and then, I might look at her profile, but it might be once every 2 weeks or something.

      So I wonder..
      1. Does past interaction history come into account, and how far back?
      2. Just how much does profile views, including photo views take into effect?
      3. Does them putting you on close friends or acquaintance list affect where they show up on your top 9 and/or friends list?






      Maybe we could do a test to answer some of our questions. Like make a fake account, and with the fake account, put the main account as a close friend or aquaintance. Then with the 2nd account, start looking at the main profile and pictures on a regular basis---all without the main profile looking at the 2nd profile at all or any other interaction. I think this is a good way to find if the hypothesis of people stalking your account via profile views, and showing up on your top 9--is true.

      Delete
    5. Oh I forgot.. We do have about a dozen mutual likes(as in FB pages). But no tagged pictures of each other or anything. She has tagged me once in a post, but that was Over a year ago.

      Delete
    6. Hm, good point. The quandary continues...

      Delete
    7. Obviously have your primary account to be a fb friend with your dummy account. Forgot to literally mention that.

      Delete
  40. About the acquaintances thing: I just listed one of my nine as an acquaintance, and she immediately disappeared from the box. So, that works.

    About making a second account and stalking yourself with it... my facebook seems to put new friends in my 9, regardless of activity. I'm guessing that this goes away after a certain point (anyone know how long?), but it would influence placement and skew the experiment in the short-term.

    Update on my own running experiment: visiting a friend who is not very active on facebook ~10x day finally got her into my nine! ... for half a day. This may indicate that one-sided stalking does have the power to determine placement. I'm still going to keep going and see how high up I can get her. My top row of friends definitely seem more static than the rest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where exactly did she show up on your 9?

      Delete
    2. She showed up as #9 - briefly.

      Delete
  41. Not sure if anyone has noticed, but the top 9 friends all show up on the find friends tab on the top right corner(between your name and home).

    When you click the "find friends," you'll see 3 friends listed under 'mutual friends.' If you keep refreshing the page, you should see all your top 9's names show up eventually. I don't see anyone outside the top 9.

    Before the new timeline, the top 8 wasn't directly linked to find friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't seem to have this feature. The only thing between my name and "home" is the search bar. However, when I go to "close friends," 3 suggestions are displayed which seem to alternate among my top 11 or 12.

      Delete
    2. That's interesting. How old is your FB account?

      Delete
    3. Do you mean how long have I had the account? Man, since 2005. It's an old un. Do the newer ones have more features? I seem to have the newest version...

      Delete
    4. My account is a year younger than yours. Was just wondering if older accounts didn't have find friends or something. Its weird you don't have that.

      Delete
  42. Well the odd thing about my 9 box is that my best friend is ranked at #7... We've been friends since childhood, and she was one of the first friends I added when I first got Facebook back in 2007. So we've had lots of interaction, messaging, mutual likes, and whatnot and still do to this day.
    I added a friend last year and it wasn't until recently that we started to become closer friends in real life. So I started to check her timeline off 'n on.. but the thing is, I really only started checking her FB this year. And somehow, with only one photo that we both 'liked' on a friend's photo (like a month ago), she ended up being #1 on my 9 box.
    If the first box is supposed to be the friend we interactive with the most, it should've been my childhood friend that I've been FB friends with since 2007.. but instead, it's my other friend. I guess the amount of profile views to a friend's timeline recently, takes the cake in my case..
    -ANON 48

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My best guess is they tinker with the edgerank algorithim constantly adapting it. If as a lot of us think, they score interactions, visits etc etc then this scoring started at a certain point in time.

      Most of us noticed when the news feeds were altered and we started missing news from some people. When we have to visit profiles to see what people are up to , then that info is fed into the algo. At least this is what I believe to be happening

      (mark)

      Delete
    2. I agree. Each person seems to have a different algorithm behind their nine, from how it's being described. My best friend from childhood isn't even in my top twenty. My closest friend where I live is usually #1, and the rest of my 8 are pretty static- people whose stuff I like and who I know look at my stuff. Only guy crush is peripatetic. Constantly jumping between #1 and #12, but doesn't stay in any one place for long. Sort of like life:P

      Delete
  43. Okay, I don't have 9 boxes anymore--I now have only six, same size, same placement on timeline, but, again, only six. Anyone else experiencing a similar tweak?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so weird! I still have the 9...

      Delete
  44. Update: After a weekish (maybe 2) of not looking at his profile, crush-guy has moved from 1 to 2 (sigh), replaced by my best friend with whom I message/chat a lot. This, after he "liked" a couple of my posts.

    My experiment in which I visit a friend's profile (who isn't very active on FB and who I'm certain doesn't view my profile) has succeeded in moving her to 8; her fiancé appeared in 9 after I wrote on his wall for his birthday.

    Conclusions? My stalking seems to matter a lot more than theirs, at least for the bottom rung. Previous comments about algorithms differing per person are interesting... maybe it has something to do with FB activity and the number of friends? The more active you are and the more friends you have/interact with might lend higher accuracy to the algorithm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe you may be right on the stalking on our part. As I mentioned in the post above, I wondered how my friend that I met last year, ended up being #1 than my childhood friend, whom I've had more interactions than ever... But I am starting to believe that because I've visited her profile more frequently than with my childhood friend, that could be one of the main reasons why she ended up being #1.

      -ANON48

      Delete
    2. Someone else came up with the same conclusion recently as well.
      http://www.facebook.com/help/community/question/?id=10101031528455658

      Though its hard to say if its one way(us stalking them) or two-way, or if them stalking us is a possibility.

      Ex crush stopped showing up in my top 9 yesterday morning which was the the day after I stopped viewing her profile(well I did once today)

      Delete
  45. My ex crush showed up again on my top 9. She made a status update a few hours ago, and I clicked on the news feed of her status update on the side out of boredom, and she just came back up again on my top 9 3 hours later. Perhaps clicks on the live newsfeed could out as an interaction. or maybe there was something mutual involved? Oh well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think It's mutual. I don't look or interact with my crush since a very long time and is there,all the time. ( I know him since we're 9....)

      Delete
  46. Someone from another website actually brought up a good idea. What if FB is counting ALL the interactions you had with a person since you became friends with them with some kind of algorithm, and putting them accordingly on the FB top 9? Even if you didn't interact with them publically for a while, they could jump straight into the top 9, simply by recently interacting with them via few profile/news feed hover/views.

    FB gets money off of our information and profile views/comments/statuses/pictures after all, so they could be trying to remind us to reconnect with people we used to have a ton of interaction with.

    Who knows...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah why not. But he moves in that 9 box without me looking or cliking,interacting with him via nws feed hover/views as you said. Or maybe it has to do with being active on fb. My cousin showed up in the 9 spot the other day, but I don't look at his stuff. I don't care about him. So who knows yeah.

      Delete
    2. Or maybe due to the friends actvity...

      Delete
  47. Ok folks, new information. A friend I know since kindergarden has admitted stalking me like crazy. His girlfriend left him and somehow it keeps him calm looking at pics of us from back in the days. He even asked me to send him pics from prom. I am on the #4 spot in his 9 friendbox. But he is nowhere close to my top my 9 box. I have tried to put everybody in my box in acquaintance to see who is coming next. And he did not immediately show up. So unless everybodyelse is also stalking me like hell ( strange thing was just boys showed up) it is based on the history of your very own stalking. I will do it again and keep you in a loop with the results. I really want to know now who is creeping around my stuff.
    Kiki

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Research results: I put the first 30 people showing up in my 9friendbox on the left side in the acquaintance list, and I really cant tell if it shows you mutual interaction or single sided. seriously there are just boys, except a girl I really chat a lot about stuff from class and my best friend. It is so weird. I can't imagine that I've got so much contact with any of them that they are rated so high. On the other hand I just chat with my closest friends on a daily basis.......

      Kiki

      Delete
    2. Facebook encourages stalking. Curiosity is natural. You would be surprise to know, people you can't
      imagine looking at your stuff... do it.

      Delete
  48. The one person I like seeing in my 9 box was in the 9 spot forever, but occasionally was replaced by someone else. So I decided to see what would happen if I put the new person in the 9 spot on my acquaintance list. She disappeared and he was put right back in the 9 spot. There were some other people in other spots that I didn't want to see there anymore so I took those people and put them in my acquaintance list and the guy moved up to a higher spot, but only in the bottom row. I then removed a few other people by putting them into my acquaintance list and he moved up to the #4 spot. Although we have had more interactions on facebook lately by liking each others posts, pictures, sharing each others stuff, commenting. I doubt he is profile stalking me though, but who knows. I'm just going to go ahead and believe he is because I like the guy. And I'm awesome, so he totally should be.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I've been looking very closely at the top 9 box for a couple of days, and I'm convinced there's two separate lists now. Most friends are on both friends lists, but almost all friends are ranked differently(usually my friends #3-9), and there's about 1-2 different friends.

    I've noticed especially, because the friends seem to be in set positions in both top 9 lists.

    Though this doesn't count interaction which can bring them up.

    ReplyDelete
  50. My 9 box is still frozen, but my confirmed stalker and my crush are in the top row of the big friendlist.

    ReplyDelete
  51. NEW POST!! Thank you so much to everyone who has participated in this discussion so far. I've tried to summarize all our findings in one place HERE.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd just like to make a quick comment..

      "We have also had confirmation of someone admitting to stalking someone but being nowhere near her nine. (Also, I know of people who stalk me [they often give themselves away by creepily referencing things to me in person that are deeply buried in my profile] and none of them have touched my nine.) "

      FB programs the top 9 in a way in which you will never see yourself in their top 9, just like when you set your profile to view as *insert someone's name*. Best way to tell if you MAY be on their top 9, is if you're in their top 20 in their fb friends list, or if you log into their account and check the top 9 that way.

      Delete
    2. Agreed! Very important distinction there...and OH, how I wish I could log into several people's accounts to see where (if) I rank. :)

      In the case I referenced (from a comment somewhere above), a guy had told a girl that he had stalked her, and when she looked at her nine, he wasn't there. All of this is making me curious...I think I might go check out the friends lists of a few people I think stalk me and see if I'm in their top 20...

      Delete
    3. Then again, I've noticed that while all or almost all of my top 9 showing up within my top 10 rows in my friends list, 1 or 2 of them (specifically one being the girl I used to like), move down 20 rows down from the 10th row, from an outsider's perspective. This goes in line with your top 9 looking different when viewed by someone else..

      Delete
  52. i've read through the comments and i am also curious about this top 9 friends on FB..will be waiting for the updates...

    ReplyDelete
  53. The person in my number one friend slot is the person I view the most to the point of almost stalking. So instead of those nine friends being the ones who view my profile the most, I feel they appear because I view them quite frequently. Also if you 'view' your profile from the point of view of one of your top friends, they won't show up. They will be replaced by a different friend. So they can't see themselves in your top friend list. Kind of strange.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. likewise..the number 1 on my list is the person i stalk every time... i wish it was the other way around though..haha

      Delete
  54. I think FB's friends list changed. I viewed my profile from the perspective of all my top 9 friends "via view as," and I clicked on my friends list. I noticed almost all(but my sister who was 4/5ths down?) all the way in the bottom of my friends list.

    I then went to each of the top 9's friends profile(well the ones that didn't close their friends list) and noticed I was pretty low on their list(though not all the way bottom).

    So I'm guessing that... FB has put measures to make us seemingly impossible to recognize if we are in a friend's top 9, from our point of view.

    Before this.. Notably during the time we had the top 8, almost everyone on my top 8 was easily seen in my top 10 rows, etc, when I saw it from their point of view, except 1 or 2 people.

    ReplyDelete
  55. stalking someone else has no effect unless there's some kind of mutual interaction. at least, regarding your top 9, your piliap results, and your friends list. i've tested this numerous times with each iteration of the code (which seems to be changing more and more frequently - in fact i shouldn't even be posting this!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you tried with a dummy account?

      Delete
  56. i guess stalking will affect a lot on the top 9 friends...recently, i created a dummy account and added him as a friend. after stalking his profile everyday ranging from 1hour-2hours, i noticed that he's gaining rank on my top 9 friends. and today, he is now on my number 1. i doubt if there is a mutual stalking since that account has nothing but anime pics. for additional info: i made no PM, no likes, no comments on his profile, just pure viewing on his pictures, etc..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should have stalked your main account with your dummy.

      Delete
    2. ok..will try to do that..then let's see...

      Delete
  57. Have read this thread the whole way through (over 3 or 4 sessions!) and it's really interesting. I'd love to know how facebook decides which 9 we see when visiting other people's profiles. But what I'm really really interested about is the friends list. Mine makes total sense and until a few days ago, so did other people's lists. Until a few days ago I was always in my crush's top 20 (we interact and chat a lot) and then I suddenly dropped down to right near the bottom with people who I'm pretty sure he has little or no interaction with. What is that about?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I noticed that most of my top 9 friends are in the bottom also, when seen by another person via view as feature. It's probably some kind of measure to let people know you aren't stalking them, nor not so easily at least.

      Delete
    2. Oh, that's really interesting. I viewed my friend list as my crush and he appeared right near the bottom with people who I hardly ever interact with. I know you will never see yourself in someone else's top 9, but the friend list is a strange one to change. I liked being sure that I was in his top 20!! Thanks for the info.

      Delete
    3. If you're way bottom, and you guys have some interaction with each other.. I'd say there's a decent chance you are.

      Delete
  58. Ok I never really payed attention to the whole box thing, but when it was the old way where random people switched I noticed that one of them was a guy that I dated for a couple months. after he broke up with me I would view his profile a lot. I also showed up on his friends box. I stopped viewing his page for at least 3 months. every once in a while and we messaged a few times. He does not show up in my 9 Then there is this other guy after him who I started stalking ever since we met. he commented once on my pic. does likes every once in a blue moon and messages about every other week or so. I view his page a lot. He is my 9th person. I wonder if he shows up cuz I stalk him? or if its cuz we stalk each other?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Regular 2 way messaging is one sure way to get him in your top 9(and likely him on yours).

      Messaging has more priority than page views.

      Delete
    2. We never messaged over facebook when id see him in my friends when we had the old friends list. but we messaged more later on and when the new timeline came up. still hes not on my top. But now I have an update. turns out that all my top friends were starred as close friends. So I unstarred everyone and listed them as acquaintances. My profile friends changed. except my best friend and 3 other family members. they are all still there. Including the guy I stalk he disappeared as well. So there I am all happy. I went back and took them off as acquaintances, My friends list stayed the same. SO today I log in and guess what lol the guy I stalk and now on my top 2nd friend. Im like what?? including 2 other guys who I don't talk to who use be on there and another one who I also never view comment like anything. But he always messages me half the time I ignore and likes every pic I post. I just want to know whats going on with the guy I stalk? we rarely message

      Delete
    3. Messages are heavilly weighted in the top 9 friends and also the Piliap thing. By not segregating your friends into categories it will give you a much better picture of whom you look at the most, the same with listing family members

      If you want to get clues as to who lists you as a close friend add a photo but date it a few years ago so it should move into the timeline under that date and not as a recent one in the newsfeed. If they have notifications on for close friends, then they should be alerted to you posting it.

      The only way for sure to know if somebody has visited your profile (afaik) is if they comment on an old news feed item ( many months +) or an old photo etc. However, first page of the stalker manual is secrecy and many won't want to alert you to their behaviour :)

      Recently a friend of mines girlfriend chatted with me for the first time as it was the boyfrends birthday, she shot up into my top 9 and the piliap just by chatting 3 times, never liked anything I have posted.

      As lots of us have noticed, messages / chats seem very heavilly weighted but we still have no real way of knowing how things are scored. FB knows who you search for, who you click on and how many miliseconds you spend gawping at photos of crushes and ex's they are hesitant to let us know.

      (mark)

      Delete
    4. yeah a good friend of mine messages me a lot, comments posts etc even on old photo's and statuses and she came up on my top first friend. i usually like her photo's and comment every once in a awhile. I hardly visit or search her page. The other guy i stalk a lot. We have messaged each other so maybe that's why he is my top 2. Do you think facebook tracks who stalk each other on an equal basis? Now im doing a test on another guy. I view his photos. sometimes like his stuff, and view his page 2-3 times a day. I want to see if he will pop up in my top friends.

      Delete
  59. Also forgot to mention my best friend is my number 1 friend. she comments/likes tags the most. I don't as much with her. here and there il like her photos but not so much comment. She does more activity on her part. But shows up on mine as my number 1 friend

    ReplyDelete
  60. Woah.. My chat list just changed. Pretty much everyone after top 3 friends on chat list changed completely. The top 9 people on my chat list is now people I messaged the most as of recently(past 3 months).

    ReplyDelete
  61. when i view my boyfriends' timeline, his 9 friends are now just 9 of our mutual friends. has anyone else experienced this? or know why?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That depends.

      When you go to his profile and see all your mutual friends on his top 9, do you see his total friends count on top of the top 9 and # of mutual friends, or just # of mutual friends? If its the latter, then he kept his friend list private. If its the former.. Well usually FB shows mutual friends in your friend's FB top 9.

      Delete
  62. He hid his friends list from either just you. or all his friends. therefore you only see mutual friends

    ReplyDelete
  63. Actually guys i think facebook is pretty smart. the ones that show up on the 9 box vary depending on the person viewing the profile. one time it may show up with lots of people that you don't know but have a lot of friends in common, sometimes with people whose profile you've checked, and so on.

    ReplyDelete
  64. When I look at my crush top 9. There is some dude that she friended Two months ago . I've stalked his profile and he pops up on hers. My dummy account dosent have him on there . Does anyone know anything about this ? Me and him are not friends

    ReplyDelete
  65. We have no friends in common and me and her are friends

    ReplyDelete
  66. if you look at anothers 9 box ... it's pretty much a random selection. Not like looking at your own 9 box

    (mark)

    ReplyDelete
  67. He jumps around all of the boxes. Not just the 9 spot

    ReplyDelete
  68. hehehe I meant the standard 9 box of friends, not just one particular spot. If of course you're using mobile app , then like me the only 6 i see on my Iphone are the top6 out of the top 9 I see from my web based browser.

    (mark)

    ReplyDelete
  69. Mark he's been on it for two weeks . Dosent leave the boxes

    ReplyDelete
  70. We are talking about her 9 friends

    ReplyDelete
  71. Other peoples boxes (when viewed by us ) make no sense and don't represent much imho. I have very good friends and there are people in their boxes they aren't even on friendly terms with , compared to others.


    As I have said around Becky's blog a few times, our 9 boxes can be baffling, don't go looking at others and seeing things that aren't there. One of my top 9 doesn't even have her husband in her 9 box as I view it and I am friends with them both. It doesn't mean anything as far as I can tell.

    (mark)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As you said yeah... good for you. That's what you think. Personally when I look at my boxes via dummy account, from another computer... There are friends I communicate with regularly. So it can be relevant.

      Delete
    2. Communicate and look at regurlaly.

      Delete
    3. Do you see your own box of 9 exactly as it is from your dummy account though ? Whenever I look at other peoples 9 boxes I get a mixture of mutual friends , people I don't know and a few members of family. They rotate fairly often also which is something our own 9 boxes don't do.

      Now if we saw other peoples 9 boxes as we see our own exactly, then we could infer things as we do from looking at our own boxes.
      (mark)

      Delete
  72. i don't think it's possible to view anyone else's top 9 unless you're logged into their account! but as i talked about early, being in their top 20 tier on their friends page and vice versa (when viewed from a non-connected dummy account with a different IP) drastically boosts your chances of them being in your top 9. so that's almost like seeing their top 9, or least you can probably safely assume that at least 4-5 people in that top 20 will be in your top 9, and some of those same top 20 in the top 9 viewable to friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. correction: safely assume that 4-5 ppl in that top 20 will be in THEIR top 9, etc...

      Delete
    2. Yep ...how their 9 box looks to us.. won't be how it is for them...The person earlier who mentioned a new person in their crushes 9 was worried and I don't think they needed to draw conclusions from it.

      There should be some similarities so a % of your top 20 , mixture of mutuals seems to be similar to what I see

      I only hope the person who was worried realises they might be worrying about nothing...

      (mark)

      Delete
  73. Each time I view my profile as one of my other friends (under View as Specific Person) it shows someone I am related to, some people who they are connected to and then apparently a few 'random' people that neither of us seem to be very involved with.
    For example, I viewed my profile from my best friends point of view and it showed: a few mutual friends, someone I message frequently, a family member and her ex bf who she is no longer friends with. I have a theory that FB reveals the people you stalk the most in other peoples top 9 whether you are FB friends with them or not.
    Therefore you can learn who your friends interact with and stalk the most by viewing your profile from their view of your profile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But if it's you they stalk the most how do you know? For example when I see my profile from my X friend point of view, how could I see it, because it's my own page. I can't see myself in my own 9 box. Or maybe when they stalk you, a mutual friend take your place...

      Delete
    2. You could try viewing your profile from a bunch of different friends and see which people show up in your top 9 the most. I bet that those people who show up the most frequently are the ones who view your profile the most.
      Also, check out this link for instructions on how to see who views your page the most through viewing the FB coding. I did this, it could be true because the people who showed up are my good friends who I know visit my page a lot.

      http://www.wikihow.com/See-Who-Views-Your-Facebook-Profile-the-Most

      Delete
    3. With that in mind, every time you view as a specific person... you are creating traffic from you to them.... Highlighting a connection that FB can see, much like clicking on their profile

      that's how it looks to me

      (mark)

      Delete
    4. Maybe but if you do that just 1 time for all your friends, that's not going to change in a significant way. I've already done it. There must be at first some kind of mutual interactions for people to stay high on your 9 box or piliap list or anything else. I don't believe in a random selection especially now. They change the algo a bit to often . For me it's enough revealing. And if it's not the case, ask yourself the good questions....WHY somebody you don't even know in real life should be high on your list. With 200 friends, just 1 I don't even recall the name, at the top of my list?
      Sorry that's not what I call random...

      Delete
    5. But I'm talking for my own case of course

      Delete
  74. Facebook uses set analytics with mathematical computations to populate just about everything we see. They are one of the most advanced at using these features and often (to our frustration) their abilities breach the lines of privacy of it's users. As an analyst I'm always fascinated to see if I can anecdotally discover patterns in their analytics. With the Top 9 on our own pages - these are populated based upon a combination of the activity of those users to your facebook - ie a combination of messages, posts, likes, tags, comments and visits. If someone on your restricted list is in your top 9 and you don't interact much - safe assumption you've got a major active creeper.

    ReplyDelete