Less than 6-degrees separate you from Kevin Bacon

Back in August, I mentioned that Facebook and Yahoo had been testing the six degrees theory where we are all supposed to be connected to each other by no more than six other people. This is commonly known as the six degrees of Kevin Bacon. Scientists at Facebook and the University of Milan have now reported that there are actually less than six people separating us all.

The average number of acquaintances between any two people in the world is now pegged at 4.74. The researchers used Facebook because of the 721 million users. That huge number of users allowed for a more accurate finding. The original six degrees came from a study in the late 60's that had people send actual postcards to specific other people via friends.

The experiment used one month and used a special algorithm to calculate the distance between any two people on Facebook using a sample path. The links between one person and another averaged 4.74 and in the US with more than half the population on Facebook, there was only 4.37 folks between each of us.

[via NYT]