Twitter Brings Us Closer: Only 4.12 Degrees of Separation Among Twitter Users

It’s true: Twitter really does bring us closer together.  Most people have heard the idea that everyone is connected by no more than “6 degrees of separation.”  It turns out that, on Twitter, the average path length is 4.12, and that 94% of the users on Twitter are fewer than five degrees of separation from one another.

Four researchers from the Department of Computer Science at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have performed a multi-part analysis of all 106 million tweets sent by 41.7 million users in July 2009.

The shorter path length separating any given two users of Twitter is in spite of the fact that only 22.1% of user pairs are reciprocal – in other words, both follow each other.  The research also underscores the power of the ReTweet:  no matter how many followers the original tweeter has, a ReTweet is sure to reach thousands more.

See the original research here.

Read the MIT Technology Review article.

UPDATE: Lance Ulanoff’s analysis in