By January, the U.S. will not only have a new president in the White House, but a brand new ‘POTUS’ on social media.
When either Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton or Republican nominee Donald Trump wins next week’s election, they will inherit the POTUS handle available on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, along with various other social media accounts tied to the White House.
The White House detailed this transition Monday, explaining how they plan to shift social media power to the next president.
On January 20, 2017, the 45th president of the United States will take over the POTUS Twitter account, with all 11 million followers and zero tweets. The White House will create a new Twitter handle, POTUS44, for President Barack Obama. It will be maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration, and continue to be archived like any other social messages posted online.
Facebook and Instagram will employ similar strategies, with the incoming administration taking over the White House username and followers, while creating special accounts for Obama. Accounts on Facebook and Instagram will also use the number 44.
Obama’s tenure in the White House is important in the technology space, as he was the first sitting president to use social media and other web services such as YouTube and Flickr.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.