Followers flock to Buffett after investor's first tweet -
Published Friday, May 3, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 7:46 pm
Money Talks
Followers flock to Buffett after investor's first tweet

Watch video of Warren Buffett's first tweet and of his full interview.

* * * * *

Warren Buffett rocked the Twitter world Thursday with his first-ever tweet, then claimed that he uses the Internet more than Bill Gates, if you don't count email.

“I play bridge online 12 hours a week,” Buffett said after tapping an iPad to send his first tweet at 11:20 a.m.: “Warren is in the house.”

“Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?” said Buffett, 82, during a live Internet interview, as 150 business students and professors at the University of Nebraska at Omaha applauded.

Before long, Gates tweeted back, “Welcome to Twitter @WarrenBuffett. First ever Twitter bridge tourney starts now. I bid 3 hearts.”

Buffett's new Twitter account attracted followers at the rate of 10 per second, hitting 150,000 in less than four hours. By 9 p.m., he was up to 215,000 followers. By comparison, Gates has more than 11 million followers. Singer Justin Bieber leads the Twitter world with more than 38 million.

Fortune editor Pattie Sellers, who conducted the interview, billed the session as Buffett's first social media interaction, although he has taken emailed questions during earlier cable TV appearances.

Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and a Berkshire board member, will be together in person Saturday during Berkshire's shareholders meeting in Omaha.

The Twitter session took place during a live Internet interview for Fortune magazine, conducted at UNO's Mammel Hall.

“I don't do email,” Buffett said, and he doesn't have a computer on his desk at work. But in addition to playing Internet bridge, he uses his home computer for writing and to look up information that once required a trip to the library. “I love it.”

Buffett wasn't one and done with Twitter, either. Later Thursday, he tweeted: “Read my new essay on why women are key to America's prosperity,” and included a link to the essay.

Buffett said he had a plan to boost his Twitter followers: He would reveal his favorite stock pick but send the tip only to his followers.

Then he admitted he was only joking.

The Omaha World-Herald Co. is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

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Full coverage of the Berkshire shareholders meeting

User Followers*
Justin Bieber (@JustinBieber 38,535,104
Lady Gaga (@LadyGaga) 36,851,130
Barack Obama (@BarackObama) 30,954,950
Bill Gates (@BillGates) 11,121,292
LeBron James (@KingJames) 8,174,060
Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) 3,941,463
Serena Williams (@SerenaWilliams) 3,670,000
Pope Francis (@Pontifex) 2,214,544
Cher (@Cher) 1,467,988
*As of Thursday afternoon  

Contact the writer: Steve Jordon    |   402-444-1080    |  

Steve covers banking, insurance, the economy and other topics, including Berkshire Hathaway, Mutual of Omaha and other businesses.

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