Last Friday, as the inauguration was underway, the first Twitter transfer of power was made in American history. Moments after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States he was given the prestigious twitter handle @POTUS for immediate use. Other official accounts like @FLOTUS, @VP, @WhiteHouse, and @PressSec were also transferred over to the Trump administration.
All twitter accounts for the Trump administration start fresh as all tweets from the Obama administration were removed and archived to new twitter accounts. But, tweets from the previous administration don’t just disappear. The tweets now show up on newly created twitter accounts with the handles @POTUS44, @VP44, and @FLOTUS44. These handles are what will appear on all old retweets and embeddings. No new tweets will be made from these archived accounts but they will be managed by the National Archives and Records Administration along with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Tumblr accounts.
In addition to the new @POTUS handle the Trump administration will inherit the millions of followers from each account. The transfer of followers was not immediate as the new @POTUS account started with zero followers. Yet, within an hour it was back up to 4 million followers and currently has 14.4 million followers. Those who followed @POTUS and Obama administration accounts will automatically be following the Trump administration until they choose to opt out.
While this massive social media transfer has been in the works for months it still had some hiccups. About 560,000 twitter users were signed up to follows accounts of the Trump administration. This even happened to some users that never followed any of the accounts under the Obama administration. Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, apologized on Saturday for the issue after many users took to twitter to complain. The influx of complaints on Friday caused a headache for Twitter after they had carefully planned for the transfer of these handles. By late Saturday the follower issue was already fixed.
We believe this affected about 560,000 people. This was a mistake, it wasn’t right, we own it, and we apologize. No excuses.
— jack (@jack) January 21, 2017
It can already be seen that Trump favors tweeting from his personal twitter account @RealDonaldTrump as it’s where he posted his first tweets after the inauguration. There are also just as many retweets of @RealDonaldTrump on @POTUS as there are original tweets. On the day of the inauguration, it took about 90 minutes for Trump’s team to send out a tweet as @POTUS for the first time. Check out Trump’s first tweet as President of the United States below.
— President Trump (@POTUS) January 20, 2017
According to The New York Times, Trump traded in the Android phone he usually uses to tweet for a “secure, encrypted device approved by the Secret Service.” Some people have raised security concerns over Trump continuing to tweet from his personal twitter account. By using his personal twitter Trump risks a security crisis if it were to be hacked by a group. However, Ian Plunkett, a Twitter spokesman, stated that Twitter has a dedicated team in Washington. In fact, Twitter works with the White House and Congress to enforce the best practices and security.
While Trump does not exactly enjoy tweeting he believes it’s the best and most direct way to get his message out to the people. Although Trump has gained a lot of responsibility and time-consuming tasks don’t expect him to stop tweeting. With over 30 million followers on his personal and presidential twitter accounts combined Trump will continue tweeting as much as can during his presidency.
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