Last summer, Microsoft founder Bill Gates made the somewhat surprising announcement that he was quitting Facebook after being inundated with friend requests, explaining “It was just way too much trouble so I gave it up”. Today, it looks like he’s decided to give it another go. A few hours ago, Gates launched both a new Facebook Page and a Twitter account (@BillGates).
Gates’ first updates on Twitter, which were first noticed by TheNextWeb are mostly related to the crisis in Haiti, which may well have spurred his decision to join. President Obama recently sent his first tweet from an aid center in Haiti, and plenty of other celebrities have used the platform to help encourage donations. The new Twitter account has been verified by Twitter as the real deal.
We’re still waiting to hear back from Facebook to confirm that the Facebook.com/BillGates page is legitimate, but it seems to be. Update: Facebook has confirmed that the account is real. The account appears to have been created last month, but didn’t have any updates posted until a few hours ago, and both accounts use the same profile photo. His first update was a link to his charitable Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. His second shared item? A link to Microsoft.com, which isn’t going to win him any creativity points. Other shared items include photo albums of his trips to Africa and India, and a link to the homepage of the prep school he attended.
As some of our commenters have pointed out, Gates won’t have to deal with the countless friend requests he used to get on Facebook, because both Twitter and his Facebook Page use one sided connections — anyone can follow him without any action required on his part.