As President Obama prepares to leave office in January, the White House has revealed its digital transition plan ahead of the arrival of America’s next Commander-in-Chief.
In a blog post Monday, the White House noted that the past eight years have given us a “social media presidency,” as President Obama was the first to be in charge in the age of Tweets and SnapChats.
The current Twitter account @POTUS, which boasts 11.1 million followers, will be made available for the incoming president on January 20, 2017, with a tweet-free timeline. It will retain all followers.
All tweets made by President Obama during the administration will be moved over to the newly-created handle @POTUS44. Other Twitter handles used by officials during this presidency, including @WhiteHouse, @FLOTUS and @VP, will also be treated in the same manner. Official tweets from this administration will be archived at the National Archives Records Administration (NARA), and preserved and accessible to the public on Twitter as an archive, according to the White House.
Official Instagram and Facebook accounts will similarly be made available to the incoming Commander-in-Chief, retain all followers and start with content-free timelines. Archives of White House content during the Obama administration will continue to be available for the public at Instagram.com/ObamaWhiteHouse and Facebook.com/ObamaWhiteHouse. Instagram accounts for the First Lady and Vice President will transition to “44” usernames and be preserved by NARA.
The White House added that a similar approach will apply to platforms such as Tumblr, Medium and YouTube. “The Obama White House content will be preserved and accessible in the same manner as all other presidential records and continue to be available on the platform at a new URL,” wrote the White House.