From the NYTimes this morning:
Daily Report: Separating You and Me? 4.74 Degrees | One of the most talked-about articles Tuesday is the revelation that there are not six degrees degrees of separation between any two people, but 4.74 degrees. John Markoff and Somini Sengupta, reporters for The New York Times, write that the original “six degrees” finding, published in 1967 by the psychologist Stanley Milgram, was drawn from 296 volunteers who were asked to send a message by postcard, through friends and then friends of friends, to a specific person in a Boston suburb.
The new research used a slightly bigger cohort: 721 million Facebook users, more than one-tenth of the world’s population.
The researchers also found that in the United States, where more than half of people over 13 are on Facebook, it was just 4.37.
The one unanswered question: Will the parlor game of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon have to be renamed?
Other publications commenting on the study:
Facebook Blog: Anatomy of Facebook
The Register: Facebook ‘shrinks’ six degrees of separation theory
Trends in the Living Networks: Our shrinking degrees of separation