According to the latest 2009 Forbes list of the “The World’s Billionaires“, the world now has 793 billionaires, a far cry away from 1,125 a year ago. They may be rich with deep pockets but most of which aren’t following the social networking trend. Many celebrities around the world head to social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to connect with their fans online. But as for most billionaires especially those tech-savvy executives such as Bill Gates and Lawrence Ellison (Oracle), they say “NO!” when it comes to setting up a profile on Facebook or Twitter. Here’s one obvious reason why they choose not to use these websites. Social websites don’t help them make money at all! They feel that it’s a waste of time to connect with people around the world on Facebook or Twitter which doesn’t help them boost their wealth significantly.
Of course, a large majority of billionaires out there don’t concern themselves with trivial things like decorating their houses or what’s the latest trend on Wall Street. Instead they focus on the same principals that have made him money most of his adult life and blocks out everything else. However, despite the fact that social networking websites don’t benefit them at all, there are still a small number of rich people who still use them. You can check them out in the list which I’ve compiled below.
1. Michael Bloomberg – $16 billion
Dubbed as the ‘richest resident in New York city’, Michael Bloomberg is the founder of Bloomberg and the current Mayor of New York City. With an estimated net worth of US$16 billion, the 67-year-old is ranked #17 in the world and most of his wealth comes from his 88% stake in Bloomberg L.P, a finance software services company. On Twitter, he tweets about his campaign and keeps his supporters updated to the latest political news about New York City.
2. Pierre Omidyar – $3.6 billion
Born in France, Pierre Omidyar is a well-known Iranian-American entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder of the eBay auction site and Omidyar Network which were launched in 1995 and 2004 respectively. Currently, Californian-based eBay has over 15,000 employees and its annual revenue hovers at around US$8 billion. For the past decade, Pierre Omidyar and his team have acquired several notable companies and start-ups such as Paypal and Skype.
To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $270 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple investment areas, including microfinance, property rights, government transparency, and social media. Prior to founding eBay and Omidyar Network, Pierre co-founded Ink Development Corp., later renamed eShop and acquired by Microsoft.
On Twitter, Pierre doesn’t share much about his personal life or answering the question – ‘What are you doing?’. Most of his tweets are replies to close friends, eBay fans, folks at eBay or even to complete strangers. Sometimes he tweets about politics, non-profits and traveling.
3. Oprah Winfrey – $2.7 billion
Having a net worth of US$2.7 billion, Oprah Winfrey is an American media personality, Academy Award nominated actress, producer, literary critic and magazine publisher. Despite the poverty she faced during her childhood, she has managed to emerge from a child who had experienced hardship to one of the world’s richest and most powerful woman. Touted as ‘the world’s most powerful woman’ by CNN and Time.com, she delivered over a million votes in the close 2008 Democratic primary race. Besides that, her presence and influence on Twitter have resulted in a significant boost in the number of new sign-ups during the CNN and Ashton Kutcher 1 million followers race.
With close to 2 million followers on the micro-blogging platform, Oprah tweets about her personal life, share her thoughts and opinions regarding a particular issue with her loyal fans. Here’s one of her recent tweets – ‘Just saw Nelson Mandela who looks fantastic at 91, still telling jokes.’
4. Richard Branson – $2.5 billion
Richard Branson is the 261th richest person in the world with a net worth of US$2.5 billion. Based in London, United Kingdom, he is the Chairman of Virgin Group. The core business areas are travel, entertainment and lifestyle, among others which includes world-class brands such as Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Mobile.
He is not a frequent Twitter user and has posted only 129 updates since he joined the social networking website on 13 August 2007. Not surprisingly, he promotes new product launches, events and interviews related to Virgin Group. Once in a while, he will share his afternoon with his fans and the folks at Virgin on Twitter.
5. Mark Cuban – $2.3 billion
Mark Cuban is an American billionaire entrepreneur with over US$2.3 billion worth of assets and stocks. He owns Dallas Mavericks (an NBA basketball team) and 2929 Entertainment (a media company with holdings in film and television production, film distribution, theatrical exhibition, home entertainment, television, and syndication). He is also the Chairman of HDNet, television channel in the United States, broadcasting exclusively in high-definition format and available via cable and satellite television.
Being an internet-savvy guy, Mark tweets about the search engine titan Google, its acquisition YouTube and social networking giant Facebook. Of course, he does writes about his basketball team Dallas Mavericks, NBA board meetings and many more.
6. Kavitark Ram Shriram – $1.2 billion
Ram Shriram mentor capitalist whoÂ has worked for several notable Internet companies which includes Google, Amazon and Netscape. Most of his US$1.2 billion wealth comes from his 3.4 million shares of Google as he was one of the first investors in the US-based search engine. Ram’s knowledge of and advice on issues ranging from raising venture capital, key management hiring, making the right product choices and defining and adapting the business model to changing market conditions has helped his working partners secure early customer wins, build momentum from a standing start, and generate international growth.
For certain reasons, Ram Shriram privates his Twitter account and only those who have sent requests to follow him are able to read his protected updates.