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Obama gets his own @POTUS account, joins Twitter age

/ 08:15 AM May 19, 2015
Obama

President Barack Obama. AP

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is embracing short-form communication. Twitter has a new account: @POTUS. Spelled out, that’s President Of The United States.

For years, White House officials have used Twitter to communicate White House policy and occasional personal observations.

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But Obama himself pretty much stayed out of the social media fray.

No longer.

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With a frugal 92-character message — 48 short of maximum permitted — Obama on Monday declared: “Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account.”

Obama POTUS

Screengrab from @POTUS Twitter account

The account name — @POTUS — stands for the common acronym used for President of the United States.

The White House says the tweets on that account will come exclusively from the president. The Obama-affiliated Organizing for Action group has an @BarackObama account and the White House has an @WhiteHouse handle, both mostly written by staff. Obama has on rare occasions used them, signing his personal messages with his initials, BO.

The move is the latest by a White House particularly attuned to social media and new digital technology. But Twitter, with its ability to be anonymously interactive, is a new forum for the president, even one who still carries his own Blackberry.

One interested party checked in with the president Monday afternoon:

“Welcome to @Twitter, @POTUS!” wrote @billclinton. “One question: Does that username stay with the office? #askingforafriend”

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READ: Hillary Clinton says she’s running for president in 2016

That was an unsubtle reference to his wife Hillary, who is again running for president.

Within the hour, Obama had replied: “Good question, @billclinton. The handle comes with the house. Know anyone interested in @FLOTUS?”

Obama POTUS 2

Screengrab from @POTUS Twitter account

FLOTUS is First Lady of the United States.

TOPICS: Barack Obama, POTUS, Social Media, technology, Twitter
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