What Does Suggested People Mean on Messenger

What does “Suggested People” mean on Messenger?

Lately, I’ve seen people come and go from my “Suggested People” list on Messenger—something I find odd. I mean, I haven’t even spoken to some of those people in years!

Plus,  It got me thinking – what’s the deal with these suggestions? Are the people behind Meta predicting my social moves, or are they trying to be a virtual matchmaking service for my social life?

Well, if you’re curious as well, read on! Let’s decode the secrets of the Messenger’s “Suggested People” feature together! 

What does “Suggested People” on my Facebook Messenger mean?

The “Suggested People” is a list that the Messenger app arranges for you, consisting of profiles it pulls from your Facebook account’s contacts or friends list. As the name suggests, it’s a personalized list that the app recommends based on various factors.

Because it’s a recommendation from the app, you have no control over the profiles appearing there. However, it’s important to note that the “Suggested People” list is based on your activities, so you can influence it even if you can’t edit it per se.

IMPORTANT: Facebook Messenger’s algorithm creates this suggested people list according to your actions on the platform. 

You can consider this the app’s way of predicting who you’re likely to contact based on observable factors, such as your likes, comments, views, etc.

It explains why you can only view your “Suggested People” on Messenger when searching or creating a new message or chat box. 

This way, it can prioritize contacts or friends you’re more likely to chat with, making your search faster and more convenient.

What does “Suggested People” on my Facebook Messenger mean

However, that doesn’t mean your “Suggested People” list only displays profiles you’ll likely talk to. Surprisingly, it only appears to be the case for your Facebook contacts or friends at the top of the list, indicating that the app prioritizes some people.

Once you start scrolling through your “Suggested People” on Messenger, the listed profiles suddenly don’t fit in the “contacts you’re more likely to chat” criteria. Upon inspection, notice the list includes people you may not have chatted with in years.

So, while it reinforces the idea that “Suggested People” prioritizes contacts and friends you have recent interactions with, it’s not an exclusive list for them. Therefore, it seems more like a combination of two distinct things.

  • First, it displays Facebook contacts you have recently interacted with via chat, comments, profile views, and more. 
  • Second, it will include those on your friend list, even if you never chatted with them, liked their posts, or viewed their profiles.
it will include those on your friend list, even if you never chatted with them, liked their posts, or viewed their profiles.

Therefore, it would be reasonable to think that your activities on Facebook and Messenger aren’t the only deciding factor when giving you this suggestion. 

In particular, this list doesn’t discount people on your friend list who fall under the opposite criteria.

However, only people on your Facebook friends list can appear as Suggested People on Messenger. 

Regardless of the factors the platform’s algorithm checks to organize this list, it’s the only constant factor you can consider as the common denominator.

It appears to be Facebook Messenger’s attempt to remind you about other friends you may not consider interacting with normally. If you think about it, these platforms favor social interactions above all else, so it’s understandable for them to do this.  

After all, it’s common for most people to have thousands of friends on Facebook, even though they never interact with them, let alone know them in person. 

Thus, your “Suggested People” list on Messenger is a way to push you into socializing more.

What does “Suggested People” on my Facebook Messenger mean

As such, we recommend checking your suggested list in your free time to see who you can try to know better next time. 

Below are the steps for checking the contacts that fall under your Suggested People list on Messenger. This is helpful, especially if you need a refresher.

How to Check your “Suggested People” on Messenger

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps3
Time to Perform Fix15 seconds
Things NeededAny smartphone
A working internet connection
Step 1: Go to Messenger.

Step 2: Click the pencil icon or the search bar.


Note: Composing a new message or making a search displays
your “Suggested People” list.
Step 3: Scroll down to see your “Suggested People” list.


Note: You don’t need to scroll down if you clicked
the pencil icon previously.

Where does Facebook Messenger get my suggested contacts, and can I control it?

As mentioned, your “Suggested People” on Messenger comes from the contacts or friends list on your Facebook account. Although these apps are separate, they work side by side when managing your contacts and messages.

IMPORTANT: Using the Messenger app doesn’t need an active Facebook account. You can deactivate your Facebook after creating an account without losing your ability to interact on Messenger.

You can only do this by switching to a Deactivate Except Messenger Account (DEMA) that deactivates your Facebook account without affecting the messaging app. 

This relationship lets Messenger access your Facebook contacts and make suggestions.

Depending on your Facebook and Messenger apps’ permissions, they can also access the contact list on your phone. Here’s how to change your app permissions so you can allow or disallow access to your phone’s contacts.

Change Facebook and Messenger’s app permissions on Android

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps7
Time to Perform Fix30 seconds
Things NeededAn Android phone
Step 1: Go to Settings.

Step 2: Go to Apps.

Step 3: Click Manage Apps.

Step 4: Click Facebook or Messenger.

Step 5: Click App Permissions.

Step 6: Go to Contacts.

Step 7: Select Allow.

Change Facebook and Messenger’s app permissions on iOS

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps7
Time to Perform Fix30 seconds
Things NeededAn iPhone
Step 1: Go to Settings.

Step 2: Select Facebook or Messenger.

Step 3: Turn on its Contacts permission.

How are the suggested people chosen on my Facebook Messenger?

The Facebook Messenger’s algorithm evaluates various metrics to choose which friends or contacts appear on your “Suggested People” list. Unfortunately, there’s no definitive explanation from Meta as to what specific things their algorithm checks.

However, it should be challenging to figure out, considering we know how they distribute content on Facebook. Therefore, we can expect their algorithm to work similarly for determining which friends and contacts will be in your suggested list.

Here’s how Meta’s Facebook algorithm evaluates content for each user upon launching their app or visiting their platform. 

This evaluation involves a four-step process that we can refer to for understanding how they choose “Suggested People” on Messenger.

How are the suggested people chosen on my Facebook Messenger
  • Inventory – This refers to the content your connections share on the platform. It includes your Facebook friends, pages you follow, and groups.
  • Signals – This refers to the multitude of signals Meta considers regarding content. These are minor details about the content, such as its poster, publication date, time, location, and more. 
  • Predictions – After compiling these signals, Meta’s algorithm will predict how you’ll likely engage with the content. It’s a way for them to assess whether or not you’ll find the content interesting and meaningful.
  • Score – With all this information, Meta will designate a relevancy score that equates to people’s likely interest in the content. This score lets them make more predictions and calculate a user’s likelihood to engage with the content.

Although the above information gives us insight into Meta’s algorithm for Facebook, you must consider the difference between content and suggested contacts. 

Therefore, these steps don’t wholly represent how they select “Suggested People” on Messenger.

However, you can’t deny that this is essential information we can use to understand how Facebook Messenger creates its suggested contacts. Combining this with our experience with the platform, we can reasonably deduce how the algorithm works.

Here are the most probable factors that Messenger uses as a basis for creating your “Suggested People” list. 

Since Meta doesn’t share how they select the profiles in your suggested list, we can only make this deduction based on their Facebook algorithm.

1. Communication History

It’s standard for social media apps like Facebook and Messenger to track your communication history with other users. Therefore, this can significantly affect someone’s inclusion in your “Suggested People” list on Messenger.

Communication History

If you regularly communicate with someone via Messenger chats, they’re more likely to appear as a suggested contact. You’ll notice this because your closest Facebook friends who chat with you are usually ahead on this list.

2. Profile Views

Unlike other metrics, this is affected by the other person’s actions on Facebook instead of yours. For instance, someone who often visits and browses your account’s profile page will likely appear on your “Suggested People” on Messenger.

Of course, the same thing applies if you frequent someone’s Facebook profile. As a result, you’ll be among their suggested contacts once they perform a search or start a chat in their Messenger app.

3. Facebook Interactions

Interactions with other Facebook users will affect someone’s likelihood of appearing on your “Suggested People” list on Messenger. This factor is essential because every social media platform tracks it to evaluate a user’s engagement.

Facebook Interactions

Your interaction history and frequency with specific users will make the platform’s algorithm give you higher relevancy scores. As a result, Facebook Messenger will predict your likelihood to chat with each other.

These interactions include comments, likes, and shares of another person’s posts. However, it shouldn’t matter whether you perform these actions to interact with someone’s account or if you’re on its receiving end.

Of course, the likelihood will be significant if you interact with the other person’s posts more. This way, the algorithm will think you consider that person’s account relevant and prioritize it on your suggested contacts.

4. Location

Location is another factor affecting someone’s appearance on your “Suggested People” list on Messenger. After all, similar location is a factor that the Facebook algorithm considers relevant to users.

Location

In particular, it’s a prevalent factor that the Facebook algorithm considers when selecting profiles to add to “People You May Know” and “Nearby Friends.” 

Since Messenger is a Facebook companion app, it would be more surprising if it didn’t matter.

5. Online Status

Online status is another factor the Messenger app’s algorithm might consider for selecting your suggested contacts. After all, it makes more sense for a messaging app to recommend available users you can chat with.

However, you must note that online status should improve someone’s likelihood of appearing as your “Suggested People” on Messenger, not guarantee it. Based on our experience, suggested contacts can include offline Facebook accounts.

Even so, accounts appearing offline may be those that turn off their online status. Sadly, it can be challenging to determine unless you can confirm someone’s online status by asking them via chat.

6. Mutual Friends

Although the Messenger app will only recommend Facebook friends as your “Suggested People,” that doesn’t discount the effect of having mutual friends.

As mentioned, your connections are a significant factor that Meta apps consider.

Mutual Friends

Therefore, a Facebook account with multiple mutual friends increases their chance of becoming a suggested contact. Often, it makes a huge difference since those you have mutual friends with are typically people you’re close to or know personally.

7. Mutual Likes and Follows

Aside from mutual friends, having similar pages and topics you like or follow will dictate your connection with someone on Facebook. Unsurprisingly, it’s another factor that Meta’s algorithm considers when suggesting users as potential friends or chat partners.

Thus, it’s not difficult to imagine how this can impact your Messenger app’s selection of people to add as your “Suggested People.” Furthermore, the algorithm may include other similarities between your Facebook accounts when matching them.

For instance, registering similar jobs, workplaces, and schools can improve your connection with another person. The same applies to accounts joining similar Facebook groups or attending similar events.

Mutual Likes and Follows

8. Facebook Tags

If a Facebook friend frequently tags your account on posts and comments, that counts towards your interactions. As a result, the platform’s algorithm will evaluate your relevancy scores higher based on your engagement.

This evaluation can significantly tip the Messenger app’s calculations in favor of this Facebook friend. Therefore, this friend’s account will likely appear in your suggested contacts list.

9. Newly Added Friends

Facebook’s algorithm favors your recently added friends because you usually check their profiles before adding them as friends. Doing so will count towards the profile view, and they become your new connections on the platform.

Newly Added Friends

Additionally, it’s common for most users to browse through a potential friend’s timeline, which may result in some interactions, such as post reactions and comments. Since they’re new, Facebook and Messenger may push you to interact with them.

Therefore, it may come in the form of your “Suggested People” on Messenger, making you more likely to contact them. After all, Meta’s social media platform gains more by keeping their user’s interactivity and engagement through the roof.

10. Lack of Interaction

Surprisingly, Messenger may include friends you don’t interact or chat with, butchering the intent of their algorithm. However, it acts more as a fail-safe mechanism if you think about it.

After all, they have nothing to lose by adding these accounts to your Messenger’s “Suggested People” list. Since you’re unlikely to interact with them anyway, their inclusion at least opens up a slight possibility for something that should be impossible.

How to Remove Suggested People on Messenger

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps6
Time to Perform Fix30 seconds
Things NeededAny smartphone
A working internet connection

As mentioned, you can’t edit or directly change the profiles appearing as your “Suggested People” on Messenger. However, you can add them to your hidden contact list to prevent them from becoming your suggested contact.

Step 1: Go to Messenger.

Step 2: Open your Messenger app’s kebab menu.

Step 3: Open your Messenger app’s settings.

Step 4: Click “Privacy & Safety.”

Step 5: Click Hidden Contacts.

Step 6: Click the add button in the upper-right corner and
select the contact you want to hide.

FAQs about Suggested People on Messenger

How can I prevent Messenger from accessing my contacts?


You can prevent Messenger from accessing your contacts by Facebook’s app permissions via the Settings menu.

Why is someone I’m not friends with showing up on my Messenger?


Anyone can appear on your Messenger without friending them on Facebook. However, the app will filter these messages into your message request tab, letting you decide whether or not to accept them.

Can you see who viewed you on Messenger?


You can’t see profile viewers in Messenger because this platform lacks that feature. You can only see other people’s online status, but that doesn’t indicate if they viewed your account profile.

Who is shown first on my Messenger?


Your latest conversation will always appear first on Messenger. Once you send a message to another person, this action will bump your conversation into the first position.


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