We once believed we were all connected to each other by “six degrees of separation.” But according to Facebook (FB) , that’s no longer the case.
The social network has looked at the relationships between its 1.59 billion active users and determined that we are now connected to every other person by an average of 3.57 steps, the company said in a blog post on Thursday.
That would beat the ubiquitous six steps—made famous by Harvard psychologist Stanley Milgram’s experiment and John Guare’s play in 1990 — and the 3.74 intermediaries that were touted by a Cornell University study in 2011. It may also cause a reevaluation of the popular “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” parlor game.
“With twice as many people using the site, we’ve grown more interconnected, thus shortening the distance between any two people in the world,” Facebook said in the post.
The majority of the people on Facebook average somewhere between 2.9 and 4.2 degrees of separation, the company added. Access the blog post yourself, and you can also see your own personal degree of connectedness to everyone else and compare them with CEO Mark Zuckerberg (who’s separated from you by 3.17 steps) and Sheryl Sandberg (who’s just 2.97 steps away from you).
In 2010, social media analytics firm Sysomos crunched the data for Twitter (TWTR), and found that 41% of its then-5.2 billion relationships were separated by 5 degrees.