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How does Facebook choose which friends to show on my profile or timeline?

Since the implementation of the Profile Layout of December 2010, Facebook uses a specific method to select which friends appear on your profile or timeline. The method was explained in the following paragraph from one of its Help Center pages, which is not available anymore:

By default, a changing selection of all your Facebook friends always appears under the Friends heading in the left column of your profile. This selection might include friends who you interact with the most in Wall posts, comments and mutually attended events. However, Facebook does not select friends to show based on whose profiles you choose to view or who you interact with over messages and chat.

As Facebook has stated many times that it makes technically impossible to know who views whose profile or timeline, that information is not used to select the friends that appear first.

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