Mid-day Update

Mid-day Extra: 4.74 degrees of separation

Jeremy Hobson Nov 22, 2011

So we all know that game Six Degrees of Separation.. Or Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, depending on your preference.

Well, a new study conducted by Facebook and The University of Milan reported that the average number of links between any two people is not 6…but closer to 4.74.

So in Today’s Mid-day Extra, we ask: are we really more connected these days?

For details, we called up Johan Ugander, a graduate student at Cornell and visiting scholar at Facebook who was one of the researchers on the project.

According to him, this study is different from similar research done on other social networking sites like Twitter, because for the most part, Facebook friends are at least acquaintances.

And while the results could have implications for businesses, and even consumers, Facebook itself is set to gain from studying just how connected its users are. Just think how quickly information (or product recommendations, or advertisements) can travel between its 721 million users worldwide.


As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.