Mr Gates' account will be used to share information about his foundation
Former Microsoft boss Bill Gates has launched an official Twitter feed and is rapidly becoming one of the site's more popular members.
He picked up more than 150,000 followers in his first 13 hours on the website.
He started his foray into micro-blogging with the words "hello world", a standard message used by programmers when learning a new language.
There have previously been numerous fake accounts attributed to Mr Gates.
The list of 40 people that Mr Gates follows, gives some insight into the life of one of the world's richest men.
In addition to charities, news sites and various Microsoft accounts, he has also chosen to follow actress Ashley Tisdale and Queen Rania of Jordan.
Mr Gates said in his bio that he was using Twitter for "sharing cool things I'm learning through my foundation work and other interests".
Mr Gates stepped down from Microsoft in 2008 to concentrate on his philanthropic work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.