(Photo: REUTERS / Gonzalo Fuentes)
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Is it only in Bill Gate's mind that the Facebook founder has changed his status from "in a relationship" to "engaged"?
Former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates has accidentally slipped a word that suggests the engagement of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg with his long-time girlfriend Priscilla Chan.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is friends with Zuckerberg, 26, who has pledged to give most of his fortune away. Gates said in an interview Sunday, that he had a problem with Facebook, because of too many friend requests.
In the interview, Gates described Chan as Zuckerberg's "fiancée." In discussing their philanthropic efforts, Gates said: "I didn't say to Mark, 'Give me all your money!' He was predisposed to do it and he came to me seeking advice. His fiancée Priscilla thought about education and he gave money to Newark, New Jersey, and we did a co-grant so that some of our people who had some expertise in that field could help him out."
One word can swell to thousands of speculations and media coverage. We are still unsure to what degree of seriousness the word "fiancée" is, as uttered by Gates. Facebook's head of communications Elliot Schrage claimed that Gates was mistaken. Schrage said, "If Mark is engaged, Bill Gates knows something I don't know. Gates's communications guy just wrote to apologise for the misunderstanding," according to the Daily Mail.
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Chan's Facebook page revealed that the couple have been dating since November 7, 2003, a year before the launch of Facebook. They supposedly met at a Harvard party while lining up for the bathroom while they were students. They live together in a 5,000 square feet house in Palo Alto, CA, for a paltry $7 million.
Zuckerberg's Facebook status was changed on March 20, 2011 to "in a relationship," noting that it was "slightly overdue."
The couple adopted a puppy named "Beast," who was given a Facebook fan page. Until now the page has attracted over 130,000 fans.
On June 12, when Gates' interview was published, Chan's Facebook page remained the same, while Zuckerberg seems to have removed his relationship status from his page. Zuckerberg also appears to have upped his privacy settings by no longer allowing photos he has been tagged in to appear along the top of his public profile, the Daily Mail suggested.
Whether Gates intended to imply an impending wedding of Zuckerberg or not, the side effect of Gate's interview may have triggered Zuckerberg to make a move in his lengthy dating relationship, or at least we hope so. One day, perhaps sooner than 7 years from the "in a relationship" status update, you may be able to see some happy wedding photos of the young billionaire on his Facebook page.
According to Forbes blog, among this year's record class of 1,210 billionaires, just 36 or 3% have never been married. Another 81 are divorced, 6 are separated. Of these, 123 are technically up for grabs, 33 are under 50 and 34 are over 70. Zuckerberg is the 52nd richest man in the world today, with his worth estimated at $13.5 billion. He is the second youngest billionaire in the world behind Facebook co-founder and billionaire Dustin Moskovitz, Forbes magazine reported.
This article is copyrighted by International Business Times, the business news leader