Does Facebook suggest friends who look at your profile?

Connecting with people is essentially the main function of social media giant Facebook.

There are two different ways in which you can connect with people on the platform – you can either become friends with others or simply follow them.

From then onwards you will be able to keep up to date on any of their updates/posts and chat to them via Facebook Messenger.

One key feature of Facebook is the ‘people you may know’ tab. This is basically a section of Facebook which brings up a list of people who you may want to add.

The users who appear in this tab are predominantly going to be people who you share mutual friends with.

However, sometimes there may be a few accounts that you have no mutuals with too.

There has been a theory over the years that the people who appear at the top of this list are people who have been checking out your profile on the sly without adding you.

Many people ask; if you search someone on Facebook, will you show up as a suggested friend?

We’re going to see if this theory is fact or fiction, while also looking at how you can access this feature in the first place. Let’s get started.

If you search someone on Facebook will you show up as a suggested friend?

When it comes to people who appear on your ‘people you may know’ or ‘suggested friends’ lists, Facebook is clear that it has nothing to do with who has viewed your profile, or the profiles that you view.

This means that your Facebook friends suggestions aren’t based on the profiles that you click on. So, how does Facebook suggest friends?

On the Facebook help centre, they have produced an article which explains the factors considered when it comes to who is placed on your ‘people you may know’.

The article states that friend suggestions comes from the following factors:

  • Having numerous different mutual friends.
  • Living in the same City/Town (Facebook uses your location data to do this).
  • Attending the same school or working at the same company.
  • Being tagged in the same photos.
  • Being part of the same groups or liking the same pages.
  • If you’ve shared your phone contacts with Facebook, then you will get suggested friends based on any matches from that side of things.

As you can see from this list of factors, there is nothing to suggest that your suggested Facebook friends come from people who have been looking at your profile.

But, it is based on mutual friends with shared interests. And, we also know that you can’t really change your top friends on Facebook either.

However, that hasn’t stopped people buying into the theory with some people noticing individuals in their ‘people you may know’ lists who don’t tick any of the boxes listed above.

Many people notice that a friend suggestion comes up when you interact with content from a particular user, or if you both interact with content from a third user, there might be a higher chance of them being recommended.

For instance, frequent interactions with a user’s posts might lead to their friends being recommended to you.

As far as the official party line goes though, these theories are unfounded. The People You May Know algorithm is kept secret by Facebook to avoid competition.

It’s been said for years that the Facebook suggested friends algorithm includes people that have visited your profile, but there’s no evidence to back that up.

How to locate your ‘people you may know’ list

If you are interested in undertaking some detective work on your own to see how many people in your suggested friends list tick the above boxes, then we are here to help.

If you are looking to locate your ‘people you may know’ list while using Facebook on the mobile phone app, then please follow these instructions:

  1. Log on to your account.
  2. Select the three lined icon on the bottom right hand side of the screen – it sits to the right of the notifications icon.
  3. Select ‘friends’.
  4. Select the ‘suggestions’ tab from the top of the screen – it should be next to the ‘your friends’ tab.
  5. From here you will either be able to add your suggested friends with a click of a button or remove them from the list. Removing them should mean that they will no longer appear here when you next go to check the list.

If you are looking to locate your ‘people you may know’ list while using Facebook on a desktop computer or laptop while on a web browser, then please follow these instructions:

  1. Log on to your account.
  2. From the left hand side menu bar, select ‘friends’.
  3. Select ‘suggestions’.
  4. From here, you can undertake the same process as explained in the above list on point number 5. Essentially, you can either to choose to add people who appear on this list or remove them from the list altogether.

How to prevent your account from appearing on other people’s suggested friends lists

After reading all this, you may be worried about appearing on other people’s ‘people you may know’ lists. However don’t worry, there are ways to prevent this from happening.

Facebook is pretty big on security and they allow users to put certain protocols on their account which make you ‘hidden’ on any of these lists.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Log on to your Facebook account via the app.
  2. Press the three lined icon on the bottom right hand side of the screen and then select the settings icon on the top right hand side of the screen.
  3. Scroll down and select ‘privacy settings’.
  4. Scroll down to the ‘how people can find and contact you’ subheading and mark all options to ‘only me’.


To conclude, the official party line of Facebook is that their algorithm doesn’t take into account who has viewed your profile when it comes to the platform recommending friends to you.

However, there is still enough evidence out there to suggest that this theory could be legitimate.

The truth is that many people find that Facebook suggests friends in common, so it could be based on your profile information.

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Andy is a Professional Content Editor with expertise in a whole host of areas (or so he tells us anyway). His main interests are sports, tv/film and social media. He has reviewed over 100 apps so far for Apps UK.

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