3.57 Degrees of Separation from Kevin Bacon? Maybe on Facebook

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By Akane Otani, CNBC

Forget six degrees of separation. Facebook says your friends are much closer to you than you thought.

The average pair of Facebook users has just 3.57 degrees of separation between them, the social media network said Thursday in a new study.

In the United States, that number is more like 3.46 degrees.

"Over the past five years, the global Facebook community has more than doubled in size," Facebook said in a statement.

"This is a significant reflection of how closely connected the world has become."

The social media network, which counts 1.59 billion users around the world, is celebrating its 12th birthday Thursday.