Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bill Gates gets 170,000 Twitter followers in a day

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates has finally relented and joined Twitter. It's not clear why the founder of the largest software giant joined the social networking and micro-blogging site, but by the end of Wednesday he had already amassed over 170,000 followers. By Thursday more than 268,468 Twitter users had added him to their accounts

So far, @BillGates has only posted nine tweets, two of them retweets of information about the Haiti earthquake, and two of them replies to celebrities, American idol host Ryan Seacrest and Ashton Kutcher.

Gates' first tweet read, '"Hello World." Hard at work on my foundation letter - publishing on 1/25'. The was a reference to The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, charitable body set up by Bill and his wife to funds a wide range of humanitarian causes. 

At the same time as joining Twitter, Gates also rejoined Facebook, having famously quit the social network last summer on the grounds that, as he was flooded with friend requests, "it was just way too much trouble". 

But he has now returned and given Facebook, in which Microsoft bought a 1.6 percent stake in 2007, another chance. However, he won't have to deal with the hassle of friend requests this time round, as he's created a page instead of a regular profile, which people can follow without any action required on Gates' part. This too had drawn many fans in a single day. By the end of Wednesday his Facebook page had over 55,000 fans.

While Gates remains non-executive chairman of Microsoft, he stepped down from active day-today running of the company in 2008 to focus on running his Foundation. In the less than 30 minutes it took to write this article Gates had accumulated a further 318 people. However, he is only following forty people in return, a mixture of humanitarian organisations, technology gurus, news organisations and celebrities.

He is also following Barack Obama who famously admitted he does not tweet himself, leaving his tweets to be posted by aids. One assumes this is not the case with Bill Gates, though for an inovator of technology it is interesting to not he was posting directly from the Twitter site rather than through the many applications such as Tweetdeck, Hootsuite and JournoTwit which augment the experience, making it easier to follow feeds and trends.

tvnewswatch, Beijing, China

1 comment:

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