Facebook typically displays nine friend photos on each user's Timeline page, but the order in which people appear in this thumbnail list changes over time. This is down to Facebook's EdgeRank content display system that uses your previous interactions with friends to automatically show the stories and photos that you'll find most interesting and useful.
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Viewing a friend's Facebook Timeline counts as an interaction and Facebook uses this data when it calculates your top friends. Viewing a specific friend's Timeline frequently increases the chance that this person's picture will appear in the friend photo section when you view your own or another user's Timeline page.
Private messages and chat
Facebook recently combined its private message and chat functions into the Facebook Messages application that lists all your conversations with friends. Facebook uses your chat and messaging interactions to help determine who should appear in the top nine friends list on Timeline pages.
Liking and sharing posts
Commenting on a friend's Timeline wall and liking or sharing his posts all count as interactions and Facebook also uses this information to calculate your top friends. Facebook introduced these features to help you find content from the people who you interact with most.
Facebook tailors the top friends feature for each user, so the people who view your Timeline page will typically see a different set of friend photos to the images displayed when you check your own Timeline. The friend photos you see on another user's Timeline are usually mutual friends or people with whom you share similar interests; for example, because you've liked the same Facebook Page.
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