You may have noticed recently that your Facebook friends have increased in number. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you haven’t just become inexplicably more popular.
The new, higher number now actually includes some deactivated friend. Here’s what Zuckerberg, or one of his friends or just someone at Facebook had to say about it:
We recently changed the way we count the number of people you are friends with to include some accounts that are not currently active on the service. It is important to note, that while we are showing different counts, no additional user information will be available. Due to our internal infrastructure we can provide an even faster experience for those that use our service by showing these modified counts.
The rationale behind this is that you can now go and unfriend these people to avoid any chance of security leaks.
Those deactivated, disengaged with Facebook ‘friends,’ if you can still call them that after abandoning Facebook, are quite easy to identify in your friends list. They are the ones without a face in their profile picture.
Hope this helped solved a mystery.