Bill Gates, the co-founder and chairman of Microsoft, is quickly growing to the status of Twitter superstar. On January 1st, 2010, Gates joined the social network under his real name, and although there have been people in the past masquerading as Microsoft’s Chairman, this time it’s the real deal. @Bill Gates
is a verified account, meaning that it belongs to none other than the man who founded Microsoft together with Paul Allen.
Official confirmation of the validity of the BillGates account came from Twitter's Biz Stone, which noted "Cool, @billgates is officially on Twitter!" “With this feature, you can easily see which accounts we know are 'real' and authentic. That means we've been in contact with the person or entity the account is representing and verified that it is approved. (This does not mean we have verified who, exactly, is writing the tweets),” reads
the explanation from Twitter. “This also does not mean that accounts without the 'Verified Account' badge are fake. The vast majority of accounts on the system are not impersonators, and we don't have the ability to check 100% of them. For now, we've only verified a handful of accounts to help with cases of mistaken identity or impersonation.”
Gates’ account is barely a day old, but news is spreading wide and fast, and the response from users already on the social network is nothing short of spectacular. Tens of thousands of users have already crowded to follow the Microsoft Chairman, and the number continues to increase from second to second. At the time of this article, attempting to access @BillGates resulted in a few server errors, and even in the following message: “Twitter is over capacity. Too many tweets! Please wait a moment and try again,” as Twitter went down.
It remains to be seen whether it was Bill Gates that managed to take Twitter’s capacity over the top and bring down the social network altogether. But one thing is for sure, Gates is a Twitter phenomenon which has taken the 140 words microblogging universe by storm. Last I checked, Gates had approximately 170,000 followers, in just the first day since he launched his @BillGates account.