How Do Friend Recommendations Work on Facebook?

by Joshua Phillips
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Facebook thrives on its users networking with new users, so the social media site offers inducements for users to add each other as friends. Sometimes, you may receive recommendations for other users you can add as a friend. Facebook does this so that you can reconnect with old friends and grow your network.

People You May Know

Visible on your news feed, the People You May Know box displays users that Facebook thinks you may want to add as a friend. Facebook uses an algorithm to determine which users appear in this box, though users with whom you share mutual friends, went to the same school or previously worked are most likely to appear as a friend recommendation. If you do not ever want to add a particular person as a friend, you can click the "X" beside the person's name to permanently remove him as a friend recommendation.

Suggested Friends

In addition to Facebook recommending users to add as friends, your own friends can make suggestions at any time. This tip initiates a friend request, which means you can accept it or reject it just as you would any other request. If you wish to suggest friends, navigate to any friend's Facebook page and click "Suggest Friends." This opens a dialog box in which you can select people to suggest as a friend. This box will also notify you if your friends have already added each other or not.

Navigating People You May Know

By accessing the Find Friends page, you can filter the users that Facebook recommends for you. The categories that you can filter these suggestions by include hometown, current location, the name of mutual friends, university or school, and employer. Selecting an option in multiple categories can further filter recommendations based on your requirements. For example, choosing "New York" as a current location and "Opposing Views" as an employer, you will see all recommended users who write for Opposing Views and live in New York.

Retaining Your Privacy

Just like Facebook recommends other users for you to add, your name comes up for other users in their People You May Know box. However, you can change your settings to avoid being recommended to unfamiliar people. In your privacy settings, you can change your settings so that only friends of friends may send you friend requests, stopping anybody who does not have a mutual friend with you from contacting you.

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