Facebook celebrating its birthday, friendships

Posted at 7:54 AM, Feb 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-04 07:58:25-05

Facebook is giving friendship collages to its 1.6 billion users in celebration of the social network's 12th birthday.

The collages will be packaged in video presentations of photos of friends and family that have been previously been posted on Facebook. The photos are picked out by automated technology, although each Facebook user will be able to delete some and select other pictures instead.

The videos won't be seen by anyone else unless a user decides to share the presentation.

Most Facebook users should start seeing the videos at the top of their Facebook feeds by noon Thursday, which the Menlo Park, California, company is hailing as "Friends Day." It coincides with the 12th anniversary of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg starting the social network in his Harvard University dorm room.


On Thursday we’re celebrating Friends Day, a moment to celebrate the friendships that have made a difference in our...

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Monday, February 1, 2016


The social network's team also revealed today just how closely the site's 1.6 billion users are now connected to each other. The answer: The average degrees of separation between a typical pair of Facebook users is now 3.57 degrees.

That's down from 3.74 degrees in 2011 when Facebook's community was slightly less than half its current size. Facebook

The latest number echoes the pre-digital era when researchers did an experiment in the 1960s that found there are "super-connectors" in a network that made the number of connections needed to connect two random people much smaller than expected. They found that two random strangers could be linked via no more than five intermediaries -- of six degrees of separation.