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World ‘more closely connected’ with 3.5 degrees of separation: Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is seen on stage during a town hall

New Delhi : One must be aware of the popular ‘six degrees of separation’ theory which states that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world. In other words, it means that a chain of ‘a friend of a friend’ statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.

But the social networking giant Facebook has contradicted this theory, saying the world is more closely connected and the degree of separation is actually 3.57.

“Now, with twice as many people using the site, we’ve grown more interconnected, thus shortening the distance between any two people in the world,” the Facebook said in a post.

“Calculating this number across billions of people and hundreds of billions of friendship connections is challenging. We use statistical techniques described below to precisely estimate distance based on de-identified, aggregate data. The average distance we observe is 4.57, corresponding to 3.57 intermediaries or degrees of separation. Within the US, people are connected to each other by an average of 3.46 degrees,” the Facebook team added.

Headquartered in Menlo Park, California, the social networking service had over 1.18 billion monthly active users as of August 2015.

Facebook Inc. held its initial public offering in February 2012 and began selling stock to the public three months later, reaching an original peak market capitalisation of USD 104 billion.(ANI)

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