Gates opened his Twitter feed with an appropriately geeky post—”Hello world”—but apparently plans to use the Twitter feed to promote activities surrounding the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is now the primary focus of Gates’ activity since he formally stepped down as Microsoft’s CEO and officially retired from Microsoft. Since its founding, the Gates Foundation has become one of the worlds largest philanthropic organizations—due in part to the Gates’ own personal wealth and massive contributions from the likes of Warren Buffet. The Foundation focuses on a number of causes from disaster relief, efforts to eradicate malaria, development of microfinance institution, agricultural improvement in developing nations, and education; it’s trust endowment is on the order of $35 billion.
Twitter has long hosted patently false “Bill Gates” users, some of which use their feels for essentially harmless humor. However, Bill Gates’ real account carries Twitter’s “verified account” status, a status Twitter uses for high profile accounts to indicate their authenticity. Almost overnight, Gates become one of the most-followed accounts on the service—which, if he plays his cards right, may give the Gates Foundation a significant voice in the real-time social media community.
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