Jeff Bezos asks his Twitter followers for ideas on how to spend his billions

amazon hit series
Steve Jurvetson/Wikimedia
Having more money than he knows what to do with has prompted the eye-wateringly wealthy boss of Amazon to ask his Twitter followers for advice on how to spend it.

Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post and space company Blue Origin, is believed to be worth a colossal $82 billion, which makes him the second richest person on the planet after Bill Gates.

Aware that he’s unlikely to think up enough projects on which to spend his fortune before his time’s up — even a wildly intense shopping session on his own web store would unlikely make a dent in his cash pile — Bezos turned to his 228,000 Twitter followers on Thursday, June 15 with “a request for ideas” on what to do with it all. Or at least, some of it.

The 53-year-old tech and retail entrepreneur said he was “thinking about a philanthropy strategy” that’s geared toward “helping people in the here and now — short term — at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact.”

With ears wide open, Bezos encouraged anyone with ideas to simply post a reply to his tweet, adding that he also welcomed opinions from those who disagreed with his approach.

Offering an example of the “here and now,” Bezos referenced Mary’s Place in Seattle, a homeless shelter that Amazon recently promised to build alongside a new office that it’s constructing in the city.

Hundreds of wide-ranging ideas from Bezos’s Twitter followers have already rolled in — you can check them out by clicking on the tweet above.

Giving it away

While fellow tech billionaires such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have for some time made efforts to back good causes, Amazon’s CEO has come under scrutiny in some quarters for his apparent unwillingness to follow suit. However, in recent years Bezos has been showing greater enthusiasm to get in behind projects and spread the wealth generated by his business endeavors. For example, a few years back he made a donation to fund cancer research at the Fred Hutchinson Center, and before that gave money to Princeton University to create a center in the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. And as he hints in his tweet, he’s also putting huge amounts of his own money into Blue Origin’s reusable rocket system, technology that he believes will ultimately help to protect the planet and help all Earthlings as heavy industry moves into space.

In Thursday’s tweet, Bezos didn’t say how much he’s put aside for funding new projects, but we’re certainly looking forward to finding out more about the plans and beneficiaries.

Emerging Tech

Short film celebrates New Yorker’s amazing robot costumes

New York City resident Peter Kokis creates stunning robot costumes out of household trash. His designs are huge, heavy, and extremely intricate, and never fail to turn heads when he's out and about.

The best battery packs and power stations for use in the outdoors

If you want to keep your smartphones, tablets, and other devices charged while camping int he backcountry these battery packs and portable power stations are rugged enough to survive while providing plenty of power too.

Jam out in hi-fi style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.
Social Media

Invite your friends — Facebook Events can now be shared to Stories

Facebook is testing a way to make plans with friends to attend an event -- through Stories. By sharing an event in Facebook Stories, users can message other friends interested in the event to make plans to attend together.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Social Media

Twitter extends its new timeline feature to Android users

Twitter users with an Android device can now quickly switch between an algorithm-generated timeline and one that shows the most recent tweets first. The new feature landed for iPhone users last month.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.
Social Media

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. users don’t realize Facebook tracks their interests

Did you know Facebook tracks your interests, including political and multicultural affiliations? According to a recent Pew study, 74 percent of adult users in the U.S. have no idea Facebook keeps a running list of your interests.

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.
Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.