Main | Tuesday, November 22, 2011

4.74 Degrees Of Separation

The original "six degrees" researchers used a sample of only 296 people. But that was before social media came on the scene.
The new research used a slightly bigger cohort: 721 million Facebook users, more than one-tenth of the world’s population. The findings were posted on Facebook’s Web site Monday night. The experiment took one month. The researchers used a set of algorithms developed at the University of Milan to calculate the average distance between any two people by computing a vast number of sample paths among Facebook users. They found that the average number of links from one arbitrarily selected person to another was 4.74. In the United States, where more than half of people over 13 are on Facebook, it was just 4.37.

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