As the White House transitions from Barack Obama to Donald Trump, in the social-media age that means another transition — of the @POTUS Twitter account.
At 12:01 p.m., as Trump took the oath of office, the official presidential account switched to President Trump from Obama, who was the first president to use Twitter. All tweets from Obama’s term as president are archived under a new account @POTUS44.
Twitter will automatically switch all 13 million followers of the Obama-era @POTUS account to follow both @POTUS44 and the new @POTUS account for Trump. But because Trump’s presidential twitter account is essentially brand new, the switch will take a little while.
Trump will also keep his personal @realDonaldTrump account — just as Obama had maintained a personal @BarackObama account, which he will also keep. How Trump and his team will use the official and personal accounts is unclear and will presumably undergo White House protocol and security considerations.
Trump’s takeover of the @POTUS account garnered attention on Twitter in part for its startlingly clean slate for the typically Twitter-loquacious Trump. But several users have pointed out another curious matter: Trump’s team appears to have chosen as the header image for the account a photo from Barack Obama’s inauguration, rather than Trump’s own.
Official Twitter accounts of the first lady, vice president and other White House social media elements are similarly shifting over today, as the White House team has described in detail. And the main White House page has been transitioned as well.
NPR’s Scott Detrow contributed to this report.