How The POTUS Twitter Account Plays A Significant Role In The 2016 Election
What will happen to the president's Twitter account now that we have a new president? For the first time in American history, in addition to moving into the White House, our next president will be digitally moving onto the @POTUS Twitter handle. Barack Obama joined the social networking site as @POTUS in 2015, becoming the first president on Twitter.
He previously joined in 2007 with his own personal account @BarackObama, though that handle has been run by Organizing for Action staff since his assuming the presidency. Obama has set the precedent for future presidential tweeters by using his feed to not only keep the public updated on his work and make important public statements, but also to honor our nation's heroes, famous and not-famous alike.
But Obama's time on the presidential handle will be over upon President-Elect Donald Trump's inauguration, when Trump's administration will take over @POTUS, as well as @FLOTUS, @VP, @PressSec, and @WhiteHouse, according to the White House and the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) plans. Trump and his team will start their term off with a clean slate and zero tweets on the inherited timelines. Don't worry about having to re-follow those accounts in 2017, though. All of their current followers will remain through the transition.
But if Trump's tweets during his campaign for the presidency are any indication, @POTUS promises to have a much different tone than in previous years. His activity from the @theRealDonaldTrump handle this year, including his early morning deluge of tweets in September, have gotten the president-elect into hot water with Democrats and Republicans alike. In the final days before the election, the Trump campaign took the Republican candidate's Twitter access away. No word yet on what Trump's social media plans for his term in office are.
But what will happen to the more than 300 tweets Obama shared with us during his time on @POTUS? Have no fear. NARA will be transferring all of Obama's tweets to the @POTUS44 handle, where they will be freely available to the public. The first lady, vice president, press secretary, and White House accounts will receive the same treatment, with their tweets being transferred to @FLOTUS44, @VP44, @PressSec44, and @WhiteHouse44, respectively.
The White House points out that besides being the first U.S. president to tweet, Obama's administration was also the first to use Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. There is no news yet on how other official social media accounts will be handled.