Your Online Sphere is Larger Than You Think

February 4, 2016

The idea that everyone is connected by six degrees is becoming outdated, as new Facebook research shows its users are connected to each other by an average of 3.57 degrees.

Facebook marks its 12th birthday today, which they've dubbed "Friends Day," by reminding users how their online social circle makes them more connected than they might think, and they've developed a calculator to show you how close you are to everyone else.

“Our collective ‘degrees of separation’ have shrunk over the past five years,” says Facebook’s data team. “In 2011, researchers at Cornell, the Universita degli Studi di Milano, and Facebook computed the average across the 721 million people using the site then, and found that it was 3.74. Now, with twice as many people using the site, we’ve grown more interconnected, thus shortening the distance between any people in the world.”

To celebrate "Friends Day," the social media channel also created a personalized video tool that allows Facebook users to turn their milestone moments with friends into short videos. These videos are shared to users' profiles and posted on their friends' news feeds.

Source: “It’s a Smaller World After All: Facebook Research Shows 3.57 Degrees – not 6 – of Separation,” (Feb. 4, 2016)