Barack Obama finally has his own Twitter account.
The president sent his first tweet out Monday morning saying, “Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account.”
The @POTUS account (that’s President of the United States) quickly garnered nearly half a million followers in a matter of hours.
After sending his first message, Obama followed the official White House account, then his wife. The first lady has been active on Twitter since 2013 under the username @FLOTUS.
He also followed former presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, several government accounts, and the Chicago Blackhawks and White Sox.
Obama’s Twitter bio reads “Dad, husband, and 44th President of the United States,” and discloses that “Tweets may be archived.”
While his avatar is a standard headshot, he chose to use an image of himself and his family crossing Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, with civil rights leaders on the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march in March.
“The @POTUS Twitter account will serve as a new way for President Obama to engage directly with the American people, with tweets coming exclusively from him,” Alex Wall, Deputy Director of Online Engagement at the White House explained in a blog post.
“President Obama is committed to making his Administration the most open and participatory in history, and @POTUS will give Americans a new venue to engage on the issues that matter most to them.” While Barack Obama will be tweeting from @POTUS while in office, the account will be passed on to future presidents once Obama’s term is up.
This is not the first time Obama has tried tweeting. He sent tweets before from the handle @BarackObama during his campaign. These tweets were signed -bo, however, after the campaign the account was handed over to Organising for Action, a nonprofit dedicated to advocating for Obama’s agenda, Philip Bump explains in The Atlantic.
Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account.
— President Obama (@POTUS) May 18, 2015
Interestingly, @POTUS’s first tweet appears to have been sent from an iPhone, as can be seen from the image above. The revelation raises an interesting question, given that Obama is a well known Blackberry fan. Did he switch to iPhone? Or does he simply have a separate iPhone for tweeting.