Getty Images
Getty Images

Facebook says there are now just 3.57 degrees of separation between everyone on Earth

Research takes into account social network's 1.59 billion users

Will Worley
Thursday 04 February 2016 19:33
Comments

Facebook has estimated that individuals are only 3.57 degrees of separation away from any other person on the planet.

Using data from its 1.59 billion users, statistical algorithms were used to estimate the number of unique users whose 'friends' did not overlap and the distance between the different users.

The majority of people on the social media site have averages of between 2.9 and 4.2 degrees of separation, Facebook said.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive of Facebook, was found to have 3.17 degrees of separation between him and everyone else. However, the company's Chief Operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, had just 2.92 degrees of separation.

A similar study carried out in 2011 by Facebook, Cornell University and The University of Milan found the average instances of interconnectedness between users was 3.74. Facebook had 721 million users at the time.

As the average instances of interconnectedness between people have decreased, the world has become more closely linked, Facebook says.

However, the research does not reflect the world's total population, which was estimated by to stand at 7.3 billion in July 2015 by the UN.

Commentators also point out some people also have 'friends' on Facebook who they have not met in real life.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in