Facebook suggests its social network offers just 4.74 degrees of separation

Remember that famous claim that anyone on the planet is separated from anyone else by just six people? Facebook has run the numbers by analysing its huge social network, and has decided that the real figure is more like 4.74!

That means that if you pick anyone else on Facebook, friend of your friend probably knows a friend of their friend. Explaining their results, Facebook noted that the study involved approximately 700m user profiles – 10% of the planet – and nearly 70bn friendships.

As Facebook and other social networks grow, this type of phenomenon is becoming more extreme. Just a few years ago, the magic figure was around 5.28 hops from person to person. But there has to be a limit, even if the size of Facebook means that getting from person to person has never been easier.


About Yin Tse

I am a second year architecture student studying in Berlin. I am originally from Beijing, China, where many of my family still reside, apart from my father, step-mother and step-sister, who reside in Cologne in Germany.


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