Facebook users average 3.74 degrees of separation

Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 23/11/2011 16:06

There are on average 3.74 degrees of separation between any one Facebook user and another, a study suggests.

The number of degrees represents the number of people in a friendship chain, excluding the people at either end.

Or, as the authors put it: "When considering another person in the world, a friend of your friend knows a friend of their friend."

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Separating You and Me? 4.74 Degrees
The world is even smaller than you thought.

Adding a new chapter to the research that cemented the phrase "six degrees of separation" into the language, scientists at Facebook and the University of Milan reported on Monday that the average number of acquaintances separating any two people in the world was not six but 4.74.

The original "six degrees" finding, published in 1967 by the psychologist Stanley Milgram, was drawn from 296 volunteers who were asked to send a message by postcard, through friends and then friends of friends, to a specific person in a Boston suburb.

Six degrees of separation? More like 4.74
Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon may be the name of the game but it takes less than that to connect any two users on Facebook.

According to a study by Facebook and the University of Milan, the average number of steps it takes to link any two individuals on the social network is 4.74.

Facebook's Data Team says researchers used state-of-the-art algorithms to approximate the number of "hops" between all pairs of individuals on Facebook.

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