Facebook Reduces the 6 Degrees of Separation to 4.74

While popular knowledge usually preaches that all people in the world are separated by no more than six degrees of separation, a survey released earlier this week by Facebook in conjunction with an Italian university shows fewer. According to data raised millions of its members, the people of the known social network are separated on average by 4.74 friends.

According to the website, the current 721 million active users (over 10% of the entire world population, as they point out themselves) make up 69 billion connections, which year after year have reduced the distance between individuals. A similar survey conducted in 2008 showed that people were on average separated by 5.28 people.

One reason that promotes this “approach” is that Facebook allows people can make connections with people with the same interests, ages and tastes, regardless of their location, says the survey. So much so that between people of the same country, the average distance between two users is only three friends.

Other data released by Facebook show that 50% of Facebook users have less than 100 friends, and only 10% have less than 10 friends in their profiles, while all users have an average of 190 friends.

Just as a curiosity, in its early days, the social network Orkut used to display the profiles degrees of separation between its members, resources that came out quietly from the scene when the service began to gain popularity.