What to do when you hit 5,000 friends on Facebook

I’m at 4,990 friends now.

Every week, I purge another 40 so I can add a fresh 40 friends.

It used to be that the 5,000 cap was friends plus pages you liked- total connections.
Now it’s just friends.

If you go to your profile and click on friends (the screenshot above), Facebook lists your “best” friends first. So if you want to ditch the dormant ones that you may have added a long time ago, you’d have to scroll to the end.

Even with a speedy 100 mbps internet connection, you’d be waiting an unpractically long time to get to the bottom of the list. And there is no reverse sort.

What to do?

  • One answer is just to have a lot of followers– I have 41,319.
  • Others say you can create a public profile page (mine is at fb.com/getfound), but it’s not the same.
  • The cynical say that it’s impossible to have more than a handful of real friends, which is why the 5,000 cap exists.
  • So some just mass delete everyone and start again, similar to declaring email bankruptcy.

I made the mistake years ago of accepting anyone’s request.

But now relationships matter more to me.

I have to guard my time jealously, as should you.
Mari Smith taught me this lesson.

So here’s the practical solution:

Start pruning!

I like to manually review each person, usually by seeing which friends we have in common.

To my knowledge, there is no “mass purge” option, though someone has likely built an app to do this. If you find it, let me know.

Probably not within Facebook’s rules. Remember they got mad at Burger King a few years ago for giving people a Whopper if they unfriended 5 people.

Slightly tedious, but a nice walk down memory lane papertyper.net and helping you focus on who you should be prioritizing spending time with.

What about you?

Update: I’m now at 4,696!!

You can now start pruning on your desktop just as fast as in mobile.

How? I’ll show you.

First, go to your personal profile and click “View Activity Log”

Then click “MORE” right below “Comments” on the Filters section

You’ll then want to click “Added Friends” on the same section, and it’ll show you all your added friends through the years.

The fun part starts now…

Hover over to the URL and change the “www” to “m” and you’ll be able to see all your added friends just like you’d see them on mobile!

It’s easiest to just drop anyone who:

-Doesn’t have at least 3 friends in common.
-Hasn’t posted in the last year.
-Has no profile pic or has a silly pic.
-Posts self-promotional bits or nonsense.

My friend, Robert Scoble, has more to say about it here on Quora.

Regarding request deletion, Robert also shared these tips on Facebook. He deletes requests of those who don’t have at least 20 mutual friends.

For those where I have more than 20 mutual friends, I remove them if they haven’t tried their best to be as human as possible in Facebook:

  1. They haven’t posted a genuine post (birthday greetings don’t count) in the last two to three months.
  2. You haven’t had a decent set of chats with them.
  3. They have an incomplete FB profile page
    • No cover photo
    • No profile picture
    • No “About Me” page
    • No real job description (i.e. Manager at the Krusty Krab)

Note: Even if they have a profile picture. If it’s not an image of them – a celebrity, event, promotion or generic photo – I still remove them.

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