Q:

How does Facebook determine who to suggest as friends?

A:

Quick Answer

Facebook recommends friends with an interface that uses a variety of criteria, including mutual friends, networks, work, education and imported contacts. Facebook users can filter the suggested friends on the Find Friends page. Facebook applied for a U.S. Patent on this interface in October of 2011.

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Full Answer

Facebook displays suggested friends on the user's homepage, on the Find Friends page and in ad space around the site. If Facebook recommends someone a person does not know or has no desire to be friends with, the person's can be removed from the People You May Know list if the user clicks the 'x' next to the person's name. To filter the suggested friends, users can go to the Find Friends page and make selections based on criteria, such as hometown, current city, high school, college, mutual friends, graduate school or employer. Multiple criteria can be selected to narrow down the search

Facebook's interface also makes suggestions for people who have not yet joined the social media site. Friends can send invitations to those without accounts, making it quicker and easier for the individual to sign up and find friends. If someone accepts a friend's invitation to join Facebook, any friends who have sent invitations in the past are suggested.

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