MENLO PARK, Calif. (USA Today)—If Facebook were a country, it would be the most populous nation on earth, bigger even than China.
Nearly 1.4 billion people log in to Facebook each month to catch up with friends.
That constant use of social media has transformed the nature of friendship in the last 11 years since Facebook was founded.
Friendship is no longer strained by the passage of time or long distances. We can track down friends who might otherwise disappear from our lives. We can share new experiences with friends even when we are far apart. And sometimes we forge new bonds on Facebook and other popular social networks.
For its birthday on Wednesday, the giant social network is celebrating friendship on Facebook Stories with stickers, stories and stats, USA Today reports.
For example, Facebook looked at how friendships can connect people in distant places by locating cities at least 10,000 kilometers apart that had a higher-than-average number of friend connections between residents.
Among those super-connected, “best friend” cities are Glendale, Calif. and Yerevan, Armenia; Silver Spring, Md., and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Westminster, Calif.
Facebook also looked for the longest distance that separates two friends who are from the same hometown. The answer: about 20,000 kilometers.
Two friends originally from Newcastle upon Tyne, England, are now living 20,005 kilometers apart, one in Wanganui, New Zealand and the other in Talavera de la Reina, Spain.
The stats came from internal Facebook data for global monthly active users during January.