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September 22, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Melinda Gates goes from 0 to 17,000+ Twitter followers in a day

Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Gates Foundation, joined Twitter Wednesday (“Excited to be joining the conversation on @twitter,” she said) and, in some 24 hours, has gained more than 17,000 followers.

She got a high-profile nudge from husband and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates (with 3.5 million followers), who tweeted Wednesday: “Melinda, welcome to @Twitter! I may be biased, but I think we should all follow @melindagates.”

Melinda Gates decided to join Twitter, she said on a Gates Foundation blog post, because of the urgency underlying issues such as health, education and poverty, and because she wanted to be able to quickly share stories that make an impact on those issues.

She tweeted mentions of the UN Foundation, polio, Education Nation and “The Colbert Report.” At the end of the day, she tweeted: “Wow. Thanks to everyone for such a warm welcome today. I’m excited about the outpouring of support from so many trying to improve the world.”

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