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Kevin Bacon's closer than you think, Facebook finds folks separated by less than 4 degrees (update)

Facebook's fertile ground for social experiments, and it wasn't all that long ago that Yahoo tested the six degrees of separation theory using the site. Not to be outdone, Mark Zuckerberg's crew, with an assist from the Laboratory for Web Algorithmics of the Università degli Studi di Milano, has done a little digging of its own to find out just how intertwined its 721 million users really are. Turns out, instead of being six degrees away from your favorite dancing actor, you're likely only 4.74 -- which was the average distance between any two Facebook users globally. Considering that number shrinks to three when limited to relationships within your own country, and the worldwide number was at 5.28 in 2008 (and is shrinking all the time), you should be best friends with Kevin Bacon by 2020 or so. Don't believe us? There's plenty of statistical analysis to prove it at the source below.

Update: An astute commenter (with an assist from the BBC) has pointed out that the figures above correlate to the number of intermediate persons between you and Mr. Bacon, therefore the number of degrees separating you is actually one fewer.