Obama finally gets his own @POTUS Twitter account
President Barack Obama's new @POTUS Twitter account racks up nearly 2 million followers in less than 24 hours
After six years of being relegated to tweeting as "-bo" from the official @WhiteHouse feed, U.S. President Barack Obama finally has a Twitter account of his own.
On Monday, Obama sent out the first ever tweet on a new verified account @POTUS from the Oval Office.
"Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really!" reads the message. "Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account."
Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account.—@POTUS
@POTUS is being framed as more personal than the official White House account used by Obama in the past.
The account that bears the president's name, @BarackObama, was controlled by his election and re-election campaigns but now belongs to the community organizing project Organizing for Action. Obama also occasionally tweets from that account with the sign-off "-bo."
And yet, as a White House blog post indicates, Obama doesn't actually own the @POTUS account.
A White House official confirmed this to CNN on Monday by explaining that the handle will transfer to the next president when Obama leaves office in 2017.
Obama himself also made this fact clear in an exchange with former U.S. president (and, potentially, future first gentleman) Bill Clinton on Monday evening.
"Welcome to @Twitter, @POTUS!," tweeted Clinton. "One question: Does that username stay with the office? #askingforafriend."
"Good question, @billclinton," Obama replied. "The handle comes with the house. Know anyone interested in @FLOTUS?"
Welcome to <a href="https://twitter.com/twitter">@Twitter</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS">@POTUS</a>! One question: Does that username stay with the office? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/askingforafriend?src=hash">#askingforafriend</a>—@billclinton
Good question, <a href="https://twitter.com/billclinton">@billclinton</a>. The handle comes with the house. Know anyone interested in <a href="https://twitter.com/FLOTUS">@FLOTUS</a>?—@POTUS
Clinton was one of many politicians warmly welcoming the president to Twitter.
Vice President Joe Biden was one of the first to give @POTUS a shout-out on his office's account, where he signs any personal tweets with "-vp."
Hey <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS">@POTUS</a> – Welcome to Twitter. See you around the neighborhood. –vp <a href="http://t.co/iaUVFtQVpk">pic.twitter.com/iaUVFtQVpk</a>—@VP
First Lady Michelle Obama, who joined Twitter as @FLOTUS in 2013, made a joke about how long overdue her husband's new account was.
It's about time, <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS">@POTUS</a>! –mo—@FLOTUS
While the @FLOTUS account still boasts a slightly higher number of followers than @POTUS with 1.94 million, the president is catching up fast.
In less than 24 hours and with only three tweets, he's already racked up approximately 1.83 million followers — an admirable ratio for a brand new user who follows only 65 other accounts (most of them belonging to politicians, government departments, and Chicago sports teams.)
The buzz surrounding Obama's new Twitter account has prompted an ongoing stream of jokes, primarily about the social network itself and how he will be using it.
Ugh, so tired of <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS">@POTUS</a> and all his <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MadMenFinale?src=hash">#MadMenFinale</a> tweets.—@carlquintanilla
Okay, anybody been DM’d by <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS">@potus</a> yet?—@ariannahuff
Not sure he's quite got the hang of it... RT <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS">@POTUS</a> Ed Balls—@AndreaMann
Love to see <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS">@Potus</a> following <a href="https://twitter.com/NHLBlackhawks">@NHLBlackhawks</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/whitesox">@WhiteSox</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/ChicagoBears">@ChicagoBears</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/chicagobulls">@ChicagoBulls</a>. But no <a href="https://twitter.com/Cubs">@Cubs</a>. Whoever set it up totally nailed that.—@TomRotunno
Area President Spends Rest of His Term Tweeting 'Game of Throne' Fan Theories—@AlexJamesFitz
Others noticed something a little bit "off" about @POTUS' tweets.
So why, then, were his tweets published using "Twitter for iPhone"?
“I’m not allowed for security reasons to have an iPhone.” - <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS">@POTUS</a> Dec. 2013 -> <a href="http://t.co/iZxU6OFu6F">pic.twitter.com/iZxU6OFu6F</a>—@charliespiering
Some speculated that perhaps the president had switched to an Apple device, but White House officials told The Washington Post that he didn't actually use his own phone to send any tweets on Monday.
The iPhone Obama was seen using in a video released by the White House Monday belongs to the Executive Office of the President.
Watch President Obama send his first tweet from <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS">@POTUS</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FollowTheTweets?src=hash">#FollowTheTweets</a> <a href="https://t.co/N8JxY8kQIE">https://t.co/N8JxY8kQIE</a>—@WhiteHouse
Sadly for anyone hoping to chat with the president privately on Twitter, White House officials also confirmed to Buzzfeed News that Obama "will not engage in direct messaging."