“Hello, Facebook! I finally got my very own page.”
That’s the top of the first post written by one of Facebook’s newest users — a man who identifies himself as a “dad, husband,” and, oh yeah, “44th President of the United States.”
President Obama finally has his very own Facebook page: facebook.com/potus.
That’s not to say Obama hasn’t had a heavy Facebook presence for years. His 2008 campaign was the first to aggressively use social media to woo and organize supporters, and there’s been a White House page for a while.
But, like Obama’s personal Twitter handle, the White House views the new Facebook page as a way to hear from the president in a slightly more personal setting. “I hope you’ll think of this as a place where we can have real conversations about the most important issues facing our country,” Obama wrote. “A place where you can hear directly from me.”
That’s not to say Obama will be typing out status updates in between meetings. As the New York Times pointed out Monday, about 20 staffers manage Obama’s and the White House’s various social media accounts.
Obama’s first post is a two-minute video shot from the White House’s South Lawn. After running through the various “critters” he sees during his walks — There’s a fox! — Obama shifts the subject to climate change.
“I want to make sure that the beauty of this particular national park, but also national parks all across the country, and our planet, are going to be there for Malia, Sasha, their kids, their grandkids, for generations to come.”
The video comes on the eve of a United Nations climate summit that many environmental observers view as a critical moment in the global push to rein in carbon dioxide emissions.
Last week, Obama cited climate concerns as a key reason for rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline, saying: “America’s now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change. And, frankly, improving this project would have undercut that global leadership. And that’s the biggest risk we face.”