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You Are Just 4.74 Steps Away From Everyone on Facebook

An analysis of Facebook's 721 million members has revealed that you are connected to any one member on Facebook via a maximum average of 4.74 hops. Really?

This bit of information comes via a lengthy post called on Facebook's Anatomy of Facebook data blog. The analysis is the most comprehensive so far, reaching, statistically, more than 10 percent of the world's population. Facebook also noted that 69 billion friendships were evaluated. The conclusion that there are fewer than previously expected jumps between users is based on the finding that, as you can see above, only 10 percent of people have less than 10 friends, 20 percent have less than 25, while 50 percent (the median) have over 100 friends. The average number of friends is 190.

If all those friend relations are connected, Facebook discovered that though 99.6 percent of all friendship pairs are connected by paths with 5 degrees (6 hops), 92 percent are connected by only four degrees (5 hops). Not surprisingly, as we get more connected, the number of hops is decreasing: The average distance in 2008 was 5.28 hops, now it is at 4.74.

This number, of course, feels somewhat strange, at least if you use the word "friendship" connections. Is any person on this globe only 4.74 friendship hops away? No. Perhaps we should consider them contact hops, but not friendship hops. Many of us may have contacts who have collected thousands of "friends" and may serve as distribution pillars of contacts. What's more, we all may have contacts we really don't know or never interacted with.

  • vertigo_2000
    The conclusion that there are fewer than previously expected jumps between users is based on the finding that, as you can see above...
    I don't see anything "above". Did you plagiarize this article and forget to proof your theft?
    Reply
  • rb420
    vertigo_2000I don't see anything "above". Did you plagiarize this article and forget to proof your theft?Try clicking the source link...
    Reply
  • tanjo
    I doubt I'll encounter someone from the other side of the planet even if I reached 9 degrees.. Especially someone not speaking my native language.
    Reply
  • vertigo_2000
    rb420Try clicking the source link...If it's from the source link, everything from the source should be in quotes. If it's not in quotes, it is implied that he wrote it himself. Since it's not in quotes and he's referring to something "above" to me, it implies something is very, very wrong.
    Reply
  • alidan
    dang, i dont even use facebook but i have 21 friends on it, how is that possible.
    Reply
  • SmileyTPB1
    If Facebook knows so much about me, they would know that those people aren't my "Friends".
    Reply
  • aldaia
    tanjoI doubt I'll encounter someone from the other side of the planet even if I reached 9 degrees.. Especially someone not speaking my native language.
    You will be surprised. I'm on the other side of the planet and I'm only 3 hops away from Bush, Obama, Hu Jintao or even Gaddafi & Sadam Hussein (before they where killed). None of them speaks my native language.
    Reply
  • juanc
    six degrees of inner mas turbulence.

    That's because people connects to more than real friends and family and tend to accept "third-parties" what shortens the paths. But out of those 100 friends... it's likely that 50% are friends and family and the other 50% is "other contacts"

    Just like in LinkedIn you try to get to connect to everyone in order to have more chances of getting a job.
    Reply
  • ionut19
    I am closer to everyone without using Facebook. :) Didn't need to use it until now.
    Reply
  • f-gomes
    Heard this news yesterday... on Facebook
    Reply