What Determines Facebook Friends List Order? How Your Top 6 Friends On Facebook Are Selected

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The Facebook friends list arrangement is determined using activity – interactions, photos, communication, and more. This decides the order of your friends and their priority. Those who you interact with the most will be at the top of your friends list and also appear the most on your Facebook feed.

Have you ever wondered how Facebook ranks your friends? How does it determine your top 6 friends, and what makes them stand above all the rest? 

Facebook remains the top social media platform in the world. People have hundreds, sometimes even thousands of Facebook friends. Yet, your top 6 or 9 friends will show up more frequently than others. 

Read on to see how your Facebook friends list order is determined.

What Determines Facebook Friends List Order?

Facebook profile page

Facebook friends list order algorithm uses a variety of metrics to order your friends on your profile. These metrics work to display the friends that you have the most activity with at the highest part of your profile. 

Essentially, the more you interact with a friend, the more you’ll see their profile on your feed, and the more likely it will be at the top of your friends list. 


Given that Facebook is a social media platform, it’s no surprise that communication is a major metric tracked between Facebook friends. People who you talk to and interact with often on Facebook will rank higher on your friends list. 

This goes for messages in Facebook Messenger, both individual and group chats. Profile comments, tagging someone, poking them, and liking their posts, as well. These all count as communication, and the more you communicate with someone, the higher they’ll rank on your friends list. 

Profile Views

In addition to communication, Facebook also tracks how much you visit a friend’s profile. If you and your friend view each other’s profiles regularly, then there’s a greater chance for them to rank higher on your friend’s list. 

This can be a great way to see which of your friends visit your profile frequently, even if the communication is possibly lacking. Though many do consider this method intrusive, it can be used to your benefit. 

Profile Interactions

Another metric used by Facebook to organize your friends list is the number of profile interactions. These can count as communication, however, it’s not solely communication. Profile interactions are things you do to or on someone’s Facebook profile. These include tagging them in posts, commenting on their posts, liking their posts, and posting to their wall. 

If this activity is mutual, it further increases your friend’s rank on your Facebook friends list, and you’re more likely to see them on your feed. 

Photo Interactions

Another set of interactions that affects how your friends are ordered on Facebook is photo interactions. These are the likes, comments, and tags on your friend’s photos on Facebook. Let’s say you have a friend who tags you in a lot of photos, likes, and comments on many of your photos and vice versa. This friend would be high up on your friends list. 


How frequently a Facebook friend searches for your profile will also determine how high they rank on your Facebook friends list. If they search for you often and vice versa, they will rank higher than friends who have not interacted with your profile for some time. 

Recent Friends

Recent friends also typically appear at the top of your friends list. This happens when you interact with them on Facebook too. Sometimes you’ll find that a recent friend (with a lot of interactions) can replace a long-time Facebook friend (with fewer interactions) as your top friend on Facebook. 

Active Friends

As mentioned before, recent friends can typically replace long-time Facebook friends due to interactions. If your long-time Facebook friends are inactive, they won’t rank very high on your list. This is because they won’t be interacting with you or your profile, so Facebook doesn’t consider them important. 

How Are Friends Ordered In Chat?

Similar to the organization of your friends on your friends list, the people you interact with the most are the ones who show up at the top of your chat bar. These are the friends or group chats that you speak to the most or most recently messaged. 

What About Your Suggested Friends?

In regard to your “Suggested Friends” or “People You May Know” on Facebook, the ranking is a bit different. There are a variety of factors that Facebook uses to order those who aren’t in your network, but you might be interested in adding.

These are:

  • Mutual friends: One of the ways Facebook recommends friends is if you have a lot of mutual friends. Facebook takes this as a sign that you’d benefit from adding someone to your network because it’s possible you know them in real life. 
  • Shared Organizations: If you and someone work at the same place or attend the same school, Facebook is likely to recommend them as a friend. This likelihood increases if you and that person also have a lot of mutual friends. 
  • Location: Another metric for recommended friends is a similar location. If you and someone live in the same area, then Facebook will likely recommend them as a friend. This in addition to shared organizations, and mutual friends would put them higher on the list.
  • Profile Views: If someone has viewed your profile, then Facebook might recommend them as a friend. This, with the other factors mentioned, means Facebook is more likely to show this person high on your suggested friends list. 

Is It Possible To Change The Order Of Your Friends List?

As far as I know, you cannot change your Facebook friends list. It is sorted and displayed by Facebook using the metrics I spoke about earlier. 

However, you can manage your Facebook friends list by creating custom lists for your close friends. These are lists that you can use to control who on your friends list sees and interacts with your posts. It’s a great way to add a bit more privacy to your Facebook posts.

This way, certain people can only the posts that you want them to see. 

Here’s how to create a custom friends list on Facebook:

  1. Log into your Facebook account on your web browser, then click the Friends tab at the top of the screen.

    Facebook home feed
  2. On the left of the screen, you’ll see different options to choose from, click Custom Lists.

    Facebook friends sidebar menu
  3. Here, you’ll see your present lists and also the option to create a new one. To create a new one, click Create List.

    Facebook friends custom lists option
  4. Next, enter the name of your list and click confirm to create it. Easy, right?

    Creating a custom friends list in facebook
  5. After you’ve created your list, click the Add Friends button to add new friends to your custom list.

    Adding friends to custom friends list in facebook
  6. From the popup window, select your friends from the list, or search for them using the search bar. Afterward, click Save Changes to add them to your new custom list.

    Selecting facebook profiles for custom friends list
  7. Now you’ve successfully created a custom list on Facebook. You can share posts and other things exclusively with this list from now on.

    Custom lists of facebook friends

Here’s our video showing you how to create a custom friends list on Facebook:

YouTube player


What determines the 6 friends on Facebook?

The Facebook algorithm is what determines the 6 friends on Facebook. It uses interactions such as comments, likes, tags, and messages to determine which friends are placed in the top 6 of your friends list. Therefore, the people you interact with the most will be at the top.

What determines the 9 friends on Facebook profile?

Interactions are what determine the 9 friends on Facebook profile. These interactions consist of 12 factors: profile views, tagged photos, mutual interactions, wall posts, likes, comments, viewed photos, private messages, friends who are online, group chats, and friends you’ve added to your close friends group.

How do I rearrange my friends list on Facebook?

You cannot rearrange your default friends list on Facebook. However, you can create custom lists to organize your friends how you want. Doing so allows you to make posts that only people on a selected list can see and interact with. This is great for additional privacy.

Facebook Friends List Order – Wrapping Up

So, what’d you think of this article?

As you can see, the more you interact with someone, the more the algorithm will show them to you. Besides your top friends being ranked using interactions, you can also create custom lists for added privacy to your posts too. 

If you want to up your privacy on Facebook, you can also hide your friends list. This means other users won’t be able to see who you’re friends with.

If you liked this article, share it with your Facebook friends, so they can learn about their Facebook friends list order too

About The Author

  • Rahul Sharma

    Computer science student and technology enthusiast. I love plants also, so much that I talk to them. Currently figuring out how to make an iguana as a pet without getting arrested. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo of author

Rahul Sharma

Computer science student and technology enthusiast. I love plants also, so much that I talk to them. Currently figuring out how to make an iguana as a pet without getting arrested. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

4 thoughts on “What Determines Facebook Friends List Order? How Your Top 6 Friends On Facebook Are Selected”

  1. I’m trying to find an article that tells HOW TO POST TO A CUSTOMIZED FRIENDS LIST ON FB. I know how to create it, add/remove, BUT THEN WHAT…..EVERY SINGLE CONTRIBUTOR DROPS THE BALL THERE. Eeeeeeek

  2. Four of the people I see in the list (on the right hand side of the page) are people I haven’t talked to in years and I don’t watch their profiles. It’s is basically a chat list right, so it should depend only on chatting, or as I choose.

  3. This article is 100% bull crap. The people in my top 6 are people I never interact with. Not one of them are the friends I talk to and interact with regularly. So explain that..


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