Want To Know How Facebook Determines Your Top Nine Friends? Here’s how

Ever wondered how Facebook ranks and orders the nine friends that are shown on your page? While we are not in the habit of quantifying and organizing the people in our lives, Facebook has created a mysterious algorithm that is doing it for us, which is beyond our control.

Actually, much of the paranoia around this topic centers on the mysterious Box of Nine, the rotating sample of friends highlighted on your profile. Many users feel that the reason to choose the top nine could be that someone they dislike is creeping their page or it could mean that their significant other is cheating or they are showing up because they are stalking their crush’s page.

“Guys please help me here,” posted one forum user. “Is the way I see my friends’ 9-boxes the same way they view it? And are people I see in their 9-boxes the people they interact with privately/publicly? During the past few weeks I’ve been seeing that girl persistently on my boyfriend’s 9-box. They never interact publicly, but she used to have a thing for him, so I’m scared.”

According to Motherboard, these nine boxes are a group of relevant Facebook friends intended to be a useful prompt for the user.

Facebook determines those nine friends based on 12 factors says Motherboard. These include your interactions with those individuals on Facebook, liked, comments, profile views, wall posts, tagged photos, viewed photos, mutual interactions, private messages, current online friends, friends you’ve added to the “close friends” group and group chats.

This does not mean that your top nine friends are added to the group because those people are stalking you. In fact, this could mean that either you have a lot of mutual friends or you have interacted with them through private messaging.┬áMaybe that’s the reason why in one or two of those boxes will display a bunch of your random high school classmates. Even though the list is organized by Facebook for you, the final authority is in your hands to create your top nine list by adding your closest friends to the “close friends” group.


  1. This is flat-out wrong.
    Half of my “Top 9” are people whose profile I never look at, where there are no photos that we share, and at most just a few mutual friends.
    I also have intentionally added all of them to my “acquaintances” list so that they would be removed. I also have created many “close friends” to assist FB in removing them.
    This sounds like an article that wasn’t actually researched or reviewed. It seems like somebody was just told to write it so they did.
    I wish I was your journalism teacher.


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