Why Does a Person Disappear from “People You May Know” on Facebook?

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Written by: Alex Popa


Why Does a Person Disappear from “People You May Know” on Facebook?

Did you ever wonder why the friend recommendations in the “People You May Know” list on Facebook are not always the same?

Some of the people there disappear and get replaced with others. Why is that? Well, that’s because the “People You May Know” list has been refreshed in the meantime.

If you don’t send any friend requests to these people, then Facebook will refresh the list constantly, hoping you’ll eventually befriend other people (desperation yep).

To create the “People You May Know” list, Facebook uses:

  1. Your real-time location
  2. Your phonebook contact list
  3. The pages you like
  4. The posts you comment
  5. Your public info (place of work, birthday, school, etc)
  6. People you are tagged with
  7. Check-ins to locations
  8. Email contacts

But there’s more you should know about the “People You May Know” section on Facebook. Keep reading for additional information! Who knows, perhaps you’ll find out interesting stuff 😀

Summary: Have you noticed that the friend recommendations in the “People You May Know” list on Facebook change over time?

That's because Facebook refreshes the list based on various factors, including your real-time location, phonebook contacts, pages you like, posts you comment on, public info, people you are tagged with, check-ins to locations, and email contacts.

If you don't interact with this section, Facebook will regularly update and refresh it.

To prevent Facebook from tracking you, you can change the app permissions on your phone.

Related: Why Does My Music Stop When I Open Facebook?
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Related: Why Can’t I See “Last Active” on Facebook Messenger?

Why Does a Person Disappear from "People You May Know" on Facebook?

Why Does a Person Disappear from the “People You May Know” Section on Facebook?

If you don’t interact with this section, Facebook will regularly update and refresh it to keep you on your toes.

Plus, you’re always doing things on Facebook, whether liking a post, commenting on another, entering a group, etc.

Facebook will watch these things and learns more about you (like the spying robot it is). Perhaps you’ve recently posted a photo at a local bar.

The algorithm will find people who have also been at that bar and recommend them to you (yep, that’s how it works).

If you’ve recently added a person to your phonebook contact list, Facebook will also recommend that person.

Your email contacts, Facebook can access them too. There aren’t too many things that Facebook can’t access these days (unfortunately).

The algorithm recommends people based on your latest actions and interests. It continually refreshes the “People You May Know” section to reflect your changing interests.

It operates in real-time, and it’s always active!

How Can I Prevent Facebook from Tracking Me?

There’s a simple way of preventing this from happening. To stop Facebook’s algorithm from tracking you, change the Facebook app permissions on your phone.

To do this, follow the steps below:

1. Open your phone Settings

Open your phone Settings
Open your phone Settings

First step – tap on the Gear icon in the bottom-right corner of the home screen to open your settings. Then, keep reading this guide:

2. Select “Apps

Select “Apps”
Select “Apps”

In your “Settings,” (page above) look for the “Apps” option and tap on it. That’s where you’ll find the Facebook app, so yeah, that’s where you need to go.

The “Apps” option should be near the “Battery” and “Security” options, but it may vary depending on your device.

3. Tap on “Manage Apps

Tap on “Manage Apps”
Tap on “Manage Apps”

On the “Apps” page, select “Manage Apps.” If you don’t have this option, ignore this step or select the most appropriate option that gets you to the app list.

4. Search for “Facebook

Search for “Facebook”
Search for “Facebook”

At this point, you’ll have to find Facebook and I recommend using the search bar at the top of the page to do that. Just type in “Facebook‘s” name and select it.

That’ll open a settings page where you can change the permissions.

5. Select “App Permissions

Select “App Permissions”
Select “App Permissions”

On the “App Info” page (look above), you’re supposed to find the “App Permissions” option and select it (with a tap). That’s where you can control how intrusive Facebook’s algorithm is (aka give it the middle finger).

6. Disable all permissions

Disable all permissions
Disable all permissions

On this page, you’ll see multiple permissions, including “Camera,” “Calendar,” “Location,” “Phone,” and more.

Disable the ones you’re most worried about. I recommend disabling the Location, Phone, Contacts, and Microphone.

But for every option you leave enabled, you give Facebook a portion of your private life to manipulate, which is quite un-nice.

I hope this guides was clear enough and you now know what the “People You May Know” function does. If you’re still confused, let me know in the comments below!

Can people who disappear from the “People You May Know” list reappear?

Yes, they can. If you start having things in common with them, Facebook will recommend them again.

The first time Facebook eliminated them from your friend suggestions, perhaps you were in the same group, and you quit.

Facebook noticed this and distanced itself from that person because you had fewer things in common.

But if you join the same group in the future, and that person is still in there, Facebook might recommend them again.

The same goes for anything else you can think of. Did you remove a friend from Facebook but still tag them in posts?

Facebook will recommend them to you!

Isn’t Facebook supposed to be private and anonymous?

No, it’s not. I mean, it’s supposed to protect your privacy from strangers if you know how to use the platform.

As for any data collected by Facebook for their use, that’s fair game. They specify these things in their user guidelines and Privacy Policy.

If you don’t agree with the data collection, don’t use the app. Most people don’t have a problem with it, though.

Even in the case explained above, you can prevent Facebook from tracking you by disabling the permissions.

For now, there are ways you can fight the intrusiveness of Facebook.

As for what the future unfolds, we don’t know that yet.

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Alex Popa

My name is Alex and I have a knack for social media in all its shapes and forms. I’ve dealt with such things for quite some time and I noticed that many people have issues with social media and technicalities.

Unforeseen errors, bugs, and other problems make their use of social media problematic. These things will be discussed amply in the guides on Whizcase.

I'll present the facts as they are, and offer quick and easy solutions for them.

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