Taylor Swift, Email Me!
Somebody you know knows somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who knows Taylor Swift – or, really anybody.
It used to be that six degrees of separation existed for Kevin Bacon, and other folks. Now, according to researchers, the degree of separation has been cut to 4.74 – and, it’s because of Facebook.
A study conducted by Facebook and the University of Milan examined 721 million active Facebook members,who had 69 billion friendships among them. The researchers approximated the number of hops between all pairs of individuals on Facebook using algorithms developed by the University of Milan’s Laboratory for Web algorithmics. They found most pairs of users are connected by six hops – five degrees of separation – many are connected by only five hops, which works out to four degrees of separation. That makes the average 4.74 hops, compared with the 5.28 hops recorded in 2008. The reason is the growth in Facebook membership worldwide, which ties together even more people. The researchers also found that a user’s friends are most likely to be in the same age group and come from the same country. Most pairs of people in any one country, the researchers found, are separated only by four hops – three degrees of separation.
So, let’s see if it works. Ask you friends to ask their friends to ask their friends to ask Taylor Swift to email me. firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll be checking my inbox.