Last week, Amazon owner Jeff Bezos was the richest man win the world for a few very short hours, passing up Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Of course by the end of the day Bezos was left trailing behind Gates once again, even if only by a few hundred million dollars. Now, the two businessmen have taken their little competition to Instagram.
Bezos joined the social site, known mainly for being the first social media site to start on a mobile platform and graduate to web-based over time, last week. Since joining, his handle, @jeffbezos (original, I know) has accrued a little over 30,000 followers. Today after Gates joined (his handle is @thisisbillgates), his account racked up over 18,000 followers – which took the Amazon CEO about 3 days to accomplish. If his Instagram account continues at this pace, the world’s biggest philanthropist could exceed Bezos’ follower count in no time.
A popularity contest between billionaires
Over the past few years since Bezos’ fortune has grown dramatically, many people have had their eyes on the two men to see how long it would take Bezos to catch up to Gates. Amazon was started in a garage (much like many other large corporations, right?), but it didn’t take off the way Microsoft did for Gates in the 80s. Only within the past 5 years or so has Bezos jumped on the scene with large acquisitions and other deals that have grown his worth exponentially.
Now that the two have created their own Instagram accounts, it’ll be interesting to see how the two measure up when money isn’t a factor. Will people be more interested in what is going on with Gates during his travels across the globe with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, or are they more likely to keep tabs on the seemingly day-to-day changes that are going on over at Amazon? The two billionaires are self-made, but the ways they each got there are completely different. That’s what makes this ordeal so interesting.
Instagram is Bezos’ second chance
The Next Web posted a poll on their Twitter account last month to see how many of their followers favored Gates over Bezos. The results were much more drastic than I expected with an 80/20 win for Gates (full disclosure: I voted for Gates in this poll).
Perhaps Bezos can reclaim his popularity among Instagram users, which is possible since he has a way of relating better to the millennial group that makes up the majority of accounts on the social media site. While Bezos may be on the come-up right now, with fluctuations in the market and deals going awry everyday, it’s hard to tell who will really come out on top – monetarily or otherwise.