Bill Gates Gets LinkedIn

Dennis Faas's picture

After directing his company to sink $240 million into a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook last year, the company's iconic leader has personally abandoned the social networking site in favor of the more business oriented LinkedIn.

As a company, Microsoft is still working with Facebook of course; however, Gates himself has decided to set aside his profile because of the massive amounts of friend requests he was receiving; no doubt his 'FB friends' were also driving him crazy with constant invitations for mindless applications, but that's another story.

The LinkedIn community seems to be very interested in the billionaire philanthropist. Although Gates is already the most searched-for person on the site, LinkedIn allows for privacy controls that will give the MS chairman the ability to block connection requests. (Source: As of Sunday evening, Microsoft's Chairman had a mere four connections out of a pool of 19 million LinkedIn users.

Gates' arrival coincided with the site's redesign which included some new features such as a Facbook-style status message. On Thursday of last week, Gates issued an open question to all LinkedIn members: "How can we do more to encourage young people to pursue careers in science and technology?" Within 10 hours there were close to 1,200 answers, ranging from a suggestion to increase the 'cool' factor to providing fundamental scientific knowledge online for free to real world applications for classroom theory.

Gates' interest in LinkedIn may also be more about business than a desire to find his online profile a new home. Many speculators wonder if Gates is simply testing the waters before Microsoft makes a bid for the Mountain View-based company. LinkedIn might make an initial public offering on the stock market some time in the next two years, and spokesperson Kay Luo rebuffed questions regarding the possibility of interest from Microsoft.

As interest spiked with the announcement of Gates' arrival, the social networking site went off line briefly last Friday. However, company spokespeople were quick to say that the site redesign and not increased interests caused the crash. (Source:

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