It is official, President Barack Obama has joined the Twitter community with his own account. On Monday, the White House announced that @POTUS would be the official account for the President of the United States. The account will serve as a new way for Obama to engage with the American people directly by tweeting his own content.
The President is again making history by giving citizens a new method to discuss the issues which are most important to them. Heretofore, Obama has not been absent from Twitter entirely; the White House has tweeted for him under @BarackObama, which is an account run by Organizing for Action. In times past, whenever a tweet came directly from the President, he would use that account, but include his initials.
For the millions of people who assumed they were following him because they saw his name, picture and the blue verified account badge can now join his personal page. President Obama is the first sitting leader of the free world with a Twitter account; an option that did not exist just a few years ago. He is one of the first in office to really understand and recognize the potential social media has to communicate with voters.
The Presidential Twitter account was created two months before Obama’s formal announcement of Presidential candidacy by a staffer. From that time until January 2015, his campaign staff has used the account to share news about the President and his policies in efforts of engaging and informing Americans. In January, Organizing for Action took over the reins of the Presidential social media account. Without knowledge by many, nor skipping a beat, the new organization garnered millions of social media followers – all in the name of President Barack Obama.
While some are wondering what to make of all of this, many of Obama’s supporters are having fun with his new social media presence. Several of his friends and colleagues, who already have social media accounts, paused to welcome and make jokes with @POTUS. The President’s first Tweet read:
The question that appeared to be on a lot of people’s minds is, “What will happen to the Twitter handle in 2017 after Obama leaves office?” Former President of the free world, Bill Clinton, did not waste time wondering, instead he tweeted:
Welcome to @Twitter, @POTUS! One question: Does that username stay with the office? #askingforafriend
The President quickly replied telling @billclinton his question was a good one, adding “the handle comes with the house.” He then asked the former President if he knew of anyone interested in @FLOTUS. The “official” response from a White House official stated “…the Twitter handle will then transfer to the next President in office.” At that time, Obama will no doubt claim another account as his own to keep up the momentum. Additionally, there are many who will want to follow him when his status changes to “former” President.
It is official, the 44th President of the United States has joined the Twitter community with his own account. The account @POTUS has received a host of attention. On Obama’s first day he added over a million followers in less than seven hours.
by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
NPR: President Gets His Own Twitter Account: ‘It’s Barack. Really’
CNN: @POTUS joins Twitter, jokes with @BillClinton
Top Image Courtesy of Daniel Borman – Flickr License
Featured Image Courtesy of Barack Obama – Flickr License
Inside Image Courtesy of Twitter