Twitter Transition to Begin Friday as Obama Hands @POTUS Account to Trump
All of President Obama's tweets will be archived at @POTUS44.
Inauguration Day will be about more than just the peaceful transition of power. It will also be see the peaceful transition of Twitter handles.
On Friday, Jan. 20, President Barack Obama will give up the @POTUS Twitter account that he has used since 2015 to make way for President-elect Donald Trump and his team to take over the account.
This is unprecedented because Obama was the first president to have an official Twitter account, let alone even use Twitter. So the White House has laid out its plans for the transition, which include working with the National Archives and Records Administration to ensure that the tweets of @POTUS, @FLOTUS and several other official accounts are not lost.
What is unclear is what Trump plans to do with his new Twitter account. He has been a longtime Twitter user and has become famous for his Twitter tirades during the campaign. He currently has 20.4 million followers of his @realDonaldTrump account and recently said that he planned on remaining active using that handle. "I think I'll keep it," he told the Times of London, noting that he has 46 million followers across social media. "When you think that you're 46 million there, I'd rather just let that build up and just keep it @realDonaldTrump." The Trump transition team did not respond to a request for further comment.
The transition of the Twitter handles will take place on Friday after Trump is sworn in. When the Trump administration receives access to @POTUS, the account will be stripped of its previous tweets, but it will retain its 13 million followers.
Meanwhile, all of Obama's tweets will be archived under Twitter account @POTUS44, which will be managed by NARA. Anyone who currently follows @POTUS will automatically follow this new account.
Obama, meanwhile, will be able to use his @BarackObama Twitter account, which has 80.7 million followers and during his presidency has been run by the Organizing for Action staff.
A similar process will occur for @FLOTUS, @WhiteHouse, @VP and a handful of other accounts.
Other digital assets that will be transferred to Trump's administration include the White House accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Medium, Tumblr and Flickr. The White House website will also be archived under ObamaWhiteHouse.gov.
The White House has laid out a comprehensive guide to following the Obama administration after Friday on its blog.