Thursday, February 10, 2011

How FaceBook selects your top ten friends in your profile?

Have you ever wonder how FaceBook selects your top ten friends to display in your profile? I read an article couple days about this question and it kept me thinking. I always had the idea that it was a random thing but it is not. According to Facebook it is an algorithm that checks your account and look for the people you interact the most publicly. Like wall posts, tags in pictures were both are, notes, events, etc. I took a screen shot of my top ten friends and I tried to think what were the latest interaction I had with them and some of them seemed obvious but others not so well.

Every time I refreshed my profile the top 10 friends will change but basically just the order most of them will remain in the list, in different position though. So it seems there is also some randomness involved. It is amazing how Facebook knows who we care and who we don't. It seems scary that they know all of this but instead of feeling scary my feeling is different. I wonder how they know and how the algorithm ranks and assumes what are the things and persons I care about. Specially when there is a lot of promiscuous friendship.

People you might know for example is based on friends of your friends but how accurately is that? sometimes I see that list and some make sense but a lot of them do not. One example, how about if my friend makes friends with a complete stranger? to Facebook that means that I might know that person as well, right? but this is completely false.

So social layers are great so you can only get what you want and nothing else but it really depends on how the connections are made, promiscuous friendship can make this difficult. I do not know how other persons use Facebook but in my case I try to have it as clean as I can, no friendships from strangers or persons I have not met personally and things like that.

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