The White House’s official Twitter announced Monday that President Barack Obama would now tweet out of his own account at @POTUS. “Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account,” Obama wrote from the Oval Office in his inaugural tweet. In Obama’s verified @POTUS bio, he labels himself simply as “Dad, husband, and 44th President of the United States.”
For the @POTUS wallpaper, Obama opted for a photo of his family joining those commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s walk on Selma. After launching his official Twitter account, Obama was quick to follow his wife Michelle (@FLOTUS), the White House (@WhiteHouse) and Vice President Joe Biden (@VP, who tweeted at the President “Hey @POTUS – Welcome to Twitter. See you around the neighborhood”).
Obama then clicked “Follow” on a handful of Cabinet members, former presidents (Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush but not George W. Bush, who remains Twitterless) and the U.S. government’s many departments (Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture, etc.) Finally, Obama set his sights on what is really important in the 140-character realm: Following sports teams, which he did by subscribing to Chicago’s Blackhawks, White Sox, Bulls and Bears (Sorry, @Cubs).
Clinton himself welcomed Obama to the social media site with a joke. “Welcome to @Twitter, @POTUS!,” he wrote. “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.”
The president’s namesake handle @BarackObama, which boasts over 59 million followers, is actually run by his Organizing for Action staff. While Obama has sporadically tweeted from that account, someone other than Obama himself dispatched the vast majority of @BarackObama’s 13.5K-plus tweets.