Twitter’s Five Degrees of Separation

Over the past year, we’ve spent a lot of time exploring Twitter. One of the things we’ve been curious about is how connected people are to each other within Twitter.

So, we sliced and diced more than 5.2 billion Twitter friendships (the number of friend and follower relationships) to see the connectivity of the Twitter network.

We discovered that Twitter is, in many, ways a network with only five degrees of separation. This means that nearly everyone on Twitter is just five steps away from each other. We describe this separation between two people as “friendship distance”.

Here are our major findings:

  • The most common friendship distance is five steps. (The average distance is 4.67 steps)
  • The second most common friendship distance is four steps.
  • On average, about 50% of people on Twitter are only four steps away from each other, while nearly everyone is five steps away.
  • After visiting an average of 3.32 people within the friend network, Twitter users can expect to find one of their followers!

The complete report can be found here.