Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

For years, numerous studies, often statistically dubious, suggested that there was nearly six degrees of separation between everyone on the planet.

Microsoft analyzed its messenger conversations for June 2006, covering nearly half of the worlds IM communication during that period. This was the first time such research was conducted on a truly global scale, and this is what they found:

For the purposes of their experiment, two people were considered to be acquaintances if they had sent one another a text message. The researchers looked at the minimum chain lengths it would take to connect 180 billion different pairs of users in the database. They found that the average length was 6.6 steps and that 78 percent of the pairs could be connected in seven hops or less.

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