Microsoft chief Bill Gates has set up a profile on business-focused social network LinkedIn, in a bid to encourage young people to pursue careers in science and technology.
The move comes as LinkedIn launches a tool that will allow its 19 million members to broadcast their daily activities to their connections, similar to the “status update” tool on Facebook. Microsoft owns a 5% stake in Facebook.
The decision to take a closer look at LinkedIn comes at time when Microsoft chairman Gates is trying to pursue the slumping Yahoo! business for more than $40bn (£20bn). It is not clear if Microsoft has LinkedIn in its sights as a possible take over. Last July the website was reported to have indicated that it would be more likely to make an initial public offering of stock during the next year or two, instead of putting itself up for sale.
Like most social networking sites LinkedIn also offers privacy controls. It is thought that Gates, formerly a Facebook member, has stopped using the site following a flood of requests from strangers who wanted to be his friends.