The Presidential Transition in the Social Media Age

Did you know President Barack Obama is the first “social media president?” The first president to use/have the @POTUS Twitter (not until 2015, actually!)? The first president to use Facebook Live? The first president to use a Snapchat filter?
If you think about it, it makes sense that President Obama was the first given the timeline. Facebook was only founded in 2004, Twitter founded in 2006, Instagram founded in 2010, and Snapchat founded in 2011. But once the transition takes place, what happens to the digital media that he has acquired over the past eight years? Once President-elect Donald Trump assumes the title of POTUS and the Twitter handle, it doesn’t make sense that all of Obama’s past tweets remain—they are two different people, with two different viewpoints.
Well, the White House and National Archives have thought of everything—come Inauguration Day Jan. 20, all of Obama’s digital footprint will be preserved and archived. All tweets from the @POTUS Twitter account to that point will be moved to @POTUS44. @POTUS will be empty and a fresh start for Trump, who, as we know, likes to tweet. The same goes for the @WhiteHouse, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, and @VP accounts, all moving to @XX44 accounts. This goes for all social accounts. For the /WhiteHouse Facebook and Instagram accounts, they will be moved to /ObamaWhiteHouse.
As for the White House’s website, the website will remain frozen in time moving to the new domain, just like the Clinton and Bush administrations. The new site is not live yet, but to see an example, here is former President George W. Bush’s website.
I find it really great and interesting that social media and the digital world has become such a huge role in our lives that we must archive and preserve it; it’s a testament to the times as to how important it has become.

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at Jan 19, 2017

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