Mark Zuckerberg has increased his personal wealth to a whopping $100 billion after launching Instagram Reels in the US.
The Facebook founder saw his wealth hit £76 billion after he announced the rollout of the short form video feature, Instagram Reels, a rival to the controversial Chinese app TikTok, seeing Facebook shares increased by over six per cent.
Since Zuckerberg owns a 13 per cent share in the company, this rapidly boosted his personal net worth, adding him to the so-called 'Centibillionaire Club', of which both Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Microsoft’s Bill Gates are members.
How much has Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth increased this year?
Zuckerberg has added about $22 billion onto his personal wealth in just the past seven months of 2020.
Meanwhile, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has grown his wealth by more than $75 billion this year, according to Bloomberg. The tech CEO added $13 billion to his net worth on a single day in July this year, making it the largest single-day increase of an individual's net worth since the creation of Bloomberg Billionaires Index in 2012.
How has the pandemic added more to the wealth of tech companies?
Among the biggest beneficiaries of the coronavirus pandemic are technology giants Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google.
This is because more people turned to online shopping, as well as social media and entertainment, while stuck indoors, and while leisure businesses temporarily closed down.
What is Instagram Reels?
Instagram Reels is a short-form video feature that is set to be a large competitor of the Chinese-owned TikTok app.
It is a feature which works within the Instagram social media app, which is owned by Facebook, after Zuckerberg bought Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion.
Criticisms and proposed wealth tax
There has been much interest in and criticism directed at billionaires in recent months, due to large monetary gains being made at a time of great suffering for much of the world during the pandemic.
Business Insider reported in June that billionaires had, at that point, become $565 billion richer during the pandemic, which amounted to $42 million a week on average.
News of this increase in wealth was revealed after working conditions at Amazon came under fire by Forbes.
Among the critics is US senator Bernie Sanders, who recently revealed a wealth tax plan to redistribute what he called “obscene wealth gains” made by billionaires during the pandemic. The plan, titled Make Billionaires Pay Act, proposed a 60 per cent tax on the total increase in any billionaire's net worth, starting from the beginning of the pandemic until the end of 2020.
Sanders' plan aims to redistribute this wealth towards the health care debts of American citizens.