Too many friends: Bill Gates ditches Facebook

Chicago (IL) – Bill Gates was a on a good pace to win the Facebook popularity contest with friend requests that clearly outpaced the numbers of Facebook’s favorite tech journalist Leo Laporte. But accepting friend requests from people Gates has never heard of apparently did not make sense for the Microsoft co-founder. Will his marketing advisor agree?

It’s a dream come true for 99% of the Facebook population: You have more friends you can handle and well enough to outfriend any other of your popular friends. Bill Gates recently told the audience at a conference in India that 10,000 people wanted to be his friends and that managing his profile has become “way too much trouble.”

Gates said it took too much time to sort through his list of friend requests and trying to remember which people he actually knew. So Gates simply stopped using Facebook.

Let me get this straight: Here we are, everyday Facebook users who are building friendship bases one by one, day by day and Bill Gates who could have had 10,000 friends right out of the gate simply quits? Who in this social-network driven world would do that? And realistically, how many Facebook users really know all of their Facebook friends? Bill, you have to realize, you are getting old if you don’t understand this pattern.

If you look past the personal issues that Facebook carries, what about your self-marketing impact? Look at Leo Laporte, who – last time I checked – had somewhere around 6000 friends on his personal page on Facebook, more than 12,000 fans and more than 2500 group members. That is some serious PR power. I am pretty sure that the charity PR head for Bill Gates may have had a conversation with the Microsoft sorta-drop-out: 10,000 friends to send your thoughts to is nothing to sneeze at.

That last note, by the way, was meant to be serious. Everything else about friendship management in Facebook is, and I would have to agree with Gates, way too much trouble. Sometimes.

Want to drop by my Facebook page and become my friend?