Why Has Your Friend Count Increased? Here’s Why…

I'm baaaaaack!

You may have noticed recently that Facebook says you have more friends than you used to, and this number is higher than Social Fixer’s Friend Tracker count. What happened? Here’s the answer…

A number of people have confirmed (Mari Smith, WebProNews, etc) that Facebook now counts former friends with deactivated accounts in your friend count.

So if a friend deactivated their account a while ago, you never used to see them in your friend list or have them counted in your total. Now you do.

Apparently this is for two reasons:

  1. So you can remove these friends from your friends list. This is so if they re-activate their account after a long absence, they won’t suddenly start seeing your posts again when you thought you were no longer friends. Previously, you couldn’t see them in your friends list, so there was no way to unfriend them.
  2. Facebook says they can offer a faster experience by including them in the count. Who knows what that means. Maybe they can leave off an extra WHERE clause in their queries Winking smile 

The Friend Tracker in Social Fixer will continue to show you the “correct” count of friends, and not include the deactivated accounts. The discrepancy between the two numbers isn’t an error – they just count different things.

Matt Kruse, Author of Social Fixer