Bill Gates joins Twitter

Written by Alex Watson

January 20, 2010 // 11:33 a.m.

Tags: #bill-gates #ceo #gates #microsoft #social-networking #twitter

You might remember him as the founder of Microsoft, or the world’s wealthiest man, or as head of one of the world’s largest and wealthiest charitable foundations. Now he’s on social networking and messaging site Twitter, and despite being a latecomer he’s even managed to bag his own name as a username – still, if you’re worth $50,000 million, and have been repeatedly called one of the world’s most influential people, it would be somewhat unbecoming to have to use b1llgate5 or some other contrivance.

Despite having only signed up 15 hours ago, he already has ten times the followers of bit-tech – 166,511 at the time of writing – although this is some way down on the 4.4 million luminaries of our age such as Ashton Kutcher can boast.

Gates’ short bio says he’s joined the site to talk about “cool things I’m learning through my foundation work and other interests....” While so far this has been limited to a couple of tweets about the recent earthquake in Haiti, Gates has a reputation as a voracious reader (he even owns a copy of the Codex Leicester, a collection of Leonardo Da Vinci’s writings, and one of the world’s most expensive books) with a wide range of interests and concerns. Some of these have been explored through his charity, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Funded by Gates and other wealthy donors such as investor Warren Buffet, it donates over $1.5 billion a year to various projects around the world, including HIV research and large-scale vaccination programs.

A few other tech CEOS can be found on Twitter, including Eric Schmidt of Google and John Lily of Mozilla. Fruit Messiah Steve Jobs is one obvious absentee, of course.

Interested in what Bill Gates is up to now that he’s largely left Microsoft? Or is charity work not as fascinating as software? Let us know your thoughts on the forums, and of course, you should follow bit-tech!
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