Photo-sharing platform, Instagram just got one more user. And not just any other meme-sharing or viral videos-peddling account. This time, it’s Bill Gates, the world’s richest man and philanthropist.
The co-founder of Microsoft joined the platform on Friday and already has over 20, 100 followers – amongst them, the Malala Fund, his wife Melinda Gates and Nigeria’s Tolu Ogunlesi. Perhaps, what’s more important than his growing list of followers (and the barrage of Direct Messages we are sure he’s already getting) are the 25 accounts he follows. They include Facebook COO and author, Sheryl Sandberg, the Malala Fund, National Geographic, Mike Bloomberg, the World Bank, Instagram co-founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof, Instagram, Roger Federer, Richard Branson and of course, Microsoft.
Here are a few of the reactions to him joining the social media platform:
Beyond the fun but less important conversation about who he follows and how many people follow him, Bill Gates is actually on Instagram for a purpose one would consider remarkable. Known for his philanthropy and special interest in Africa as expressed through the myriads of contributions made by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to various causes across the continent, Bill Gates’ Instagram account can be expected to be an extension of his philanthropic works.
His bio declares that the account will be used to share “things I’m learning through my foundation work and other interests.”
His first post did not fail to deliver on this mission as Bill shared a three-part post about his work in Tanzania and locals who inspire him:
Hello from Tanzania, Instagram! I just had a great lunch with some amazing kids at Kicheba Primary School in Muheza and met Upendo Mwingira, a remarkable physician who has dedicated her career to fighting neglected tropical diseases. Melinda and I have been coming to Tanzania for many years now. I always love seeing how much progress the country has made to improve health and provide opportunity. Plus, the scenery is stunning. Whenever I travel to places like this, I wish others could come along and meet the people I get to meet. I have no doubt it would leave them as optimistic as I am about progress happening around the world. I’ll be sharing photos from my adventures here on Instagram, and I hope you’ll follow along.
Coincidentally, the man who almost took his spot as the world’s richest man this year, Amazon and Washington Post’s Jeff Bezos also recently joined Instagram. Not that it matters but Jeff Bezos launched his Instagram account on the 20th of July with a magnificent video of the manufacturing facility for his New Glenn launch vehicle (a reusable rockets factory). He follows no one yet and has shared four more videos since then with his 30,100 followers.
Bill Gates is no stranger to social media and all new media platforms, generally. Besides running “Gatesnotes”, the personal blog where he shares his insights and conversations with interesting people, Gates already has Facebook and Twitter accounts which he uses regularly. On YouTube, you’ll find him doing sit-downs with vloggers like Lilly Singh. So basically, you can rest assured that he’s not just going to be an old man with no clue as to how things work.