Why Does Someone Disappear From “People You May Know” On Facebook? (Algorithms Explained)

Facebook is the OG platform of the social media hierarchy keeping us connected with friends, updated news, and businesses.

Facebook’s most prominent feature is friend requests, many users may see your profile on the “People You May Know” list and send you a friend request.

Users often find a lot of friends from the “People You May Know” list however you may see some users on this list and then they just don’t appear again. Do you know the reason why?

This blog answers this question. Keep reading to learn more!

Facebook is a great way to connect with people you know.
Facebook is a great way to connect with people you know.

According to Ana Brekalo, a Facebook spokesperson, Facebook keeps updating the people you may know algorithm continuously to keep it relevant for its users. Therefore, Facebook will be more aware of your friends in the future. 

Facebook’s recommendations are neither magic nor malice, It’s just the app is good at stats and Maths. The “People You May Know” feature is also not predicting your friend circle, it is a result of the evolution of Facebook’s social graph.

This doesn’t always work, as you and I both know, of course. Facebook routinely recommends that you “may know” someone you don’t.

It may also recommend persons you know but do not want to see in your News Feed. By clicking Add Friend, you can send a friend request to anyone on your “People You May Know” list.

If you believe a suggestion is useless, you can dismiss it and receive fewer suggestions that are similar to it.

Why does a person disappear from “People You May Know” on Facebook?

One of the reasons a user is no longer listed on 'People You May Know' is that the social media platform believes you have no desire to engage with that person.
One of the reasons a user is no longer listed on ‘People You May Know’ is that the social media platform believes you have no desire to engage with that person.

If you browse through the “People You May Know” list, you will find various profiles that show up repeatedly in your recommendations, however, there will some profiles that may disappear from the list eventually. Why is that?

Well, it is not because of a user’s command or an account deliberately removing themselves from the recommendations. 

This is because Facebook considers you have no desire to connect with that individual.

Also in the meantime, Facebook refreshes the list. Usually, if you don’t send requests to some profiles they disappear once the app refreshes the list. 

Another possibility for why these accounts disappear is that the individual deactivated or deleted their Facebook account; in this instance, they won’t reappear as a suggested friend until they activate their account again.

People who appear on the list of “People You May Know” might be one of the following:

  • Mutuals from your list of friends
  • Is someone nearby your current location or area
  • Someone from your school or university where you’re studying or graduated from

That is most likely Facebook’s algorithm for connecting you with people you may know. Facebook suggests that users connect via a cellphone number, Instagram friends, likes, and common friends.

To understand all this, first, you should take a look at how Facebook assembles this list.

You must have noticed by now that Facebook only shows people that are up to some extent familiar like a long distant cousin or a backup account of your long-lost friend, an ex-colleague, or a neighbor. 

You’ll know them one way or another like friends of friends, a person in your phone contacts, or someone who lives in your area or your friend’s area. 

This is because Facebook’s algorithm is designed to track your digital footprints, the information that you provide the app, or the information that your contacts provide the app. 

Your mutual connection is one of the reasons why some people appear on your list.
Your mutual connection is one of the reasons why some people appear on your list.

Facebook tracks your information in many ways but the following three are the most obvious ones so I’m putting them here:

Your Activity

Facebook initially starts tracking your digital footprint once you make your account and add your basic information like the place you work at, your school and education details, and your Facebook Bio.

Not only that, but the app also accumulates your likes and dislikes by the pages you like and the tagged pictures, posts, and mentions.

By tracking all your activities on the app Facebook gets a pretty good idea of people you may know.

Contacts

When you make an account on Facebook it gives you a choice to find your phone contacts on Facebook.

Once you allow access to your phonebook and email contacts Facebook will find their accounts and recommend them to you on the “People You May Know” list.

Even if you have just saved a new contact they’ll appear in your suggestions within mere hours. 

Check-ins

Real-time tracking of you. You cook your goose when you ‘check in‘ to a place, mention a location, add a location to a post, or provide Facebook with any location information.

Other people who are or were in the same place as you at the time will be suggested by Facebook.

How do you know Facebook is suggesting you to other users?

This is easy—you will see a rise in friend requests.

But if there are many spam accounts or just unknown people sending you friend requests and you don’t want to receive them you can do the following things to appear less in the “People You May Know” list of other accounts. 

Tip#1Tip#2Tip#3
Review your settings, including the ‘About‘ area and general settings. Make it impossible for people to tag you in photos. Limit the opportunity to write on your timeline.Reduce your activities and unfriend strangers. This is the first way you will appear less in the “People You May Know” section of other Facebook users.Disable Facebook from accessing your phone and email connections. You will notice a decrease in the number of friend requests.
Tips to appear less in the “People You May Know” list of other accounts

If I remove someone from Facebook’s friend’s suggestions, would I be removed from his suggestions as well?

No, you won’t be removed from his list of recommendations.

Facebook has algorithms that it uses to present suggestions and links that you will enjoy on your profile.

If you don’t like someone and hide them from your list of suggestions, they will still be able to view you as a suggestion.

How does Facebook know who I know?

Facebook finds out who you know with the help of algorithms.

When you sign up for a Facebook account, Facebook requests access to your e-mail contacts if you are using a computer, or your phone contacts if you are using a smartphone.

When you grant the site access, it searches your contacts for existing network users and searches other users’ uploaded contacts for you.

That offers it a very crude overview of your social circles: who you know, but not how well you know them.

Facebook offers you to provide more information about yourself to improve that map, such as where you went to the school, when you were born, and what city you reside in.

Each field in your Facebook profile, as well as every interaction you have with other profiles, serves as a source of data for Facebook’s mapping algorithms.

They’re attempting to figure out the network’s structure: where the cliques are, who connects them, and who knows who.

Once Facebook understands the structure of your social network, it can analyze it to forecast not just the individuals you’re most likely to know today, but also the people you’re most likely to know in the future (with stunning accuracy!).

Where do suggestions come from?

Final Thoughts

  • Facebook aims to make sure that each suggestion is as relevant as possible and that you will click the “Add Friend” button as often as possible as a consequence.
  • Facebook’s algorithm is designed to track your digital footprints, the information that you provide the app or the information that your contacts provide the app. 
  • Many users disappear from the “People You May Know” list because Facebook may find them irrelevant to your account or they may have just deactivated their account for some reason. 
  • Once Facebook understands the structure of your social network, it can analyze it to forecast not just the individuals you’re most likely to know today, but also the people you’re most likely to know in the future (with stunning accuracy!).

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