Was there somebody that Facebook used to suggest to you as a friend, but they’ve since disappeared from the ‘People You May Know’ section?
You may be wondering why they’re no longer there, or if they’ll ever come back.
So, in this article, I’ll be sharing in detail how the ‘People You May Know’ feature actually works – including what causes people to show up there, why it’s so important to Facebook that you pay attention to it, and of course, why someone may disappear from it.
It’s actually quite interesting, so let’s get into it!
Why Did Someone Disappear From ‘People You May Know’ On Facebook?
If someone once appeared in the ‘People You May Know’ section on Facebook but has since disappeared, this is because Facebook believes that you are not interested in connecting with that person.
So, they have removed them as a suggested friend, to make room for new people that you’re more likely to connect with.
If you think about it, this section is valuable real estate on your Facebook timeline.
So, Facebook wants to ensure that each suggestion is as targeted as possible, and is most likely to result in you clicking on that ‘Add Friend’ button.
Note that it’s possible that someone who disappears may return back as a suggested friend later.
For now however, Facebook wants to show you new suggestions, so they have more opportunities to connect you with different people.
Note: It’s also possible that the person deleted or deactivated their Facebook account, in which case they will not show up as a suggested friend again until their account is reactivated.
Why Facebook Pushes This Feature So Hard
Did you know that Facebook’s suggested friends feature is actually extremely important to the company’s success?
In fact, a study from the NET institute has shown that the more connections a person has on social media, the more likely they are to use the service.
It makes sense – the more people you know and have added, the more time you spend catching up with your friends, and the more content Facebook has to show you on your timeline.
If you think about it, Facebook really only has two objectives for you, once you have an account:
- Show you as many ads as possible.
- Collect data on you to make you more valuable to advertisers, increasing their earnings per ad shown.
As your usage of Facebook goes up, both of these targets are hit.
Facebook is a social network after all, and if you don’t have many friends on the platform, you’re less likely to use it – and even when you do, you won’t spend as long on there.
So, Facebook encourages you to make more friends through the ‘People You May Know’ feature!
How Do People End Up In The ‘People You May Know’ Section Anyway?
We’ve now covered why ‘People You May Know’ is so important to Facebook, and why someone that may have previously been there has now disappeared.
But have you ever wondered why they ended up there anyway? How does Facebook actually choose who shows up as a suggested friend?
The truth is, there are a lot of factors that go into it.
Remember that Facebook collects an insane amount of data on you, and there’s a lot of factors they have to pull from.
For example, Facebook can see everyone’s friends list. If there’s someone that you have a lot of mutual friends with, than it’s reasonable to conclude that the two of you may hang out in the same social circles.
However, it goes much deeper than that!
Facebook also knows your interests, and the hobbies / interests of potential connections. If you have your school or employer information on your profile, Facebook can look for other people that attended the same places.
If Facebook tracks your location, they’ll know when two people recently spent a lot of time with or near each other.
In fact, it’s even theorized that Facebook takes the pages you visit into account as well. So, if someone visits your profile but doesn’t add you, they may show up on your ‘People You May Know’ section later as well.
Of course, only Facebook themselves know exactly how the algorithm works, and how different factors are weighted.
What we do know however is that it’s based on the data that Facebook has tied to your account, as well as the data from others.
And, as we’ve already discussed, Facebook will periodically refresh it with new people, to help you form new connections on Facebook!
For a more detailed analysis on how Facebook’s ‘People You May Know’ algorithm works, click here!
Facebook periodically refreshes the people they suggest to you, in hopes that you’ll find more people you actually want to connect with.
If Facebook shows you the same person over and over again but you never send them a friend request, this essentially amounts to wasted real estate. So, while they may reappear later, Facebook will instead show new profiles in hopes that you’ll find new people you wish to add.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful, and that it’s answered your questions.
If you have any other questions about Facebook or their ‘People You May Know’ feature, ask them below and I’ll be happy to get back to you.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister