A year ago Bill Gates described social networking websites as ‘way too much trouble’. Some people took this to as an indication of his disappointment that Microsoft has failed to make any effective play in the Social Networking space.
But in January Gates u-turned and signed up to Twitter. His account became verified (certified as officially his) and a Tweet quickly followed: “Hello World. Hard at work on my foundation letter – publishing on 1/25.”
And then the mad rush to follow @BillGates started. By the end of just half a day, Gates had smashed all records and had amassed 140,000 followers.
Now of course he’s up to 469,723
He’s used his @BillGates account so far to raise awareness of Haiti, and other activities that the Bill and Miranda Gates Foundation is getting up to. Supporting thousands of causes in hundreds of countries, this is no doubt an effective way to publicize their activity.
Gates is not without celebrity followers though. He said to Ashton Kutcher: “thanks to you and all the other people who have welcomed me.”
At around the same time Gates signed up to Facebook too. Since Microsoft have a small stake in the business it’s a surprise that this hasn’t happened before. The first links added to his Facebook page were for his foundation and to Microsoft.
The previous first day follower record was by Oprah Winfrey who notched up 130,000 followers on day 1.
How many followers did you amass by the end of your first day on Twitter? Got any good tips of how to increase your follower base? Leave us a comment below.