4.74 degrees of separation – the world is smaller than you thought

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The average number of links from one arbitrarily selected person to another was 4.74.

Scientists at Facebook and the University of Milan are adding a new chapter to the research that cemented the phrase “six degrees of separation” into the language.  They have reported that the average number of acquaintances separating any two people in the world was not six but 4.74.

 

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The Social Network paradox

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Hi there. Wanna chat? I’m hip, scruffy and funny.

Over the years, there’s been a radical change in the way we interact with our networks of friends online. It used to be that we had a few of our friends (online or offline friends) on a service, allowing us to connect to friends through the Internet and see what their activities were. Where the Internet used to be a somewhat scary world full of strangers, we suddenly had friendly anchors to explore that world with. Sure, most of our friends weren’t online, or at least not using the same services, but the familiarity was comforting and the ability to see what a few of our friends were doing allowed us to find new content and new friends.

We fell in love with sites that made us feel like there are people out there who are similar to us, who we are talking to and having common experiences with. But then, some of these networks — Facebook and Twitter in particular — began to grow explosively…

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