Facebook Says Were All 3.57 Degrees From Everyone Else
- Friday, February 5th, 2016
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According to a new study by Facebooks data team, each of the 1.6bn active monthly users on the site is connected to every other person by an average of only 3.57 links, proving the world is far more interconnected than than the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon would suggest.
Its not the first time Facebook has been used to calculate our collective degrees of separation. A study in 2011 by researchers from Cornell University, the Università degli Studi di Milano and Facebook found that, across the 721m people who were using the site at the time, the average number of links needed to connect any two people was 3.74. With twice as many people now using Facebook, that number has shrunk.
The level of separation varies from place to place, with users in the US slightly better connected, with an average of 3.46. Facebook also shared the average score of some of its employees, most notably CEO Mark Zuckerberg (3.17) and COO Sheryl Sandberg (2.92). According to the companys figures, most people fall between 2.9 and 4.2 for their average number of links needed to connect to anyone else.
The research comes as Facebook celebrates its 12th birthday with an event called Friends Day, which also gave users the opportunity to view and share an automatically generated video that shared some of their most notable moments on the site since its launch.
At an event hosted in honour of Friends Day, Zuckerberg reportedly told employees that he aims to increase the number of monthly active users for Facebook to 5bn by 2030, more than tripling the social networks current size.
According to USA Today, Zuckerberg said “we want to finish connecting everyone, were going to do it in partnership with governments and different companies all over the world.” If he gets his wish, we can expect our degree of separation to shrink even further.