What Happens To The President's Social Media Accounts When He Leaves Office?

Pete Souza

When President Obama steps down on Inauguration Day, he'll do more than just hand over the keys to the White House — he'll also give his successor all of the social media channels his administration has built and maintained.

On Monday afternoon, WhiteHouse.gov's blog published a post by Deputy Chief Digital Officer Kori Schulman outlining how many of the social media channels the Obama Administration has created — including Twitter, Snapchat, Vimeo, iTunes, MySpace and Instagram — will be handled during the transition to a new president.

Obama sent his first tweet from the @POTUS account on May 18, 2015. The @POTUS Twitter handle will be made available to the 45th President on January 20, 2017.

The Twitter account will keep its 11 million followers but start with a blank timeline. All of the @POTUS tweets during the Obama administration will be moved to @POTUS44, a newly created handle that will be maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Similarly, the incoming administration will have access to the White House username, URL and followers on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Medium and Tumblr, but content will be moved to Obama-specific accounts at Instagram.com/ObamaWhiteHouse and Facebook.com/ObamaWhiteHouse.

The accounts belonging to First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will similarly be moved to "44" username accounts and publicly preserved by NARA.

As with the Clinton and Bush administrations, the WhiteHouse.gov website will be available at ObamaWhiteHouse.gov.

Obama's administration has been noteworthy in the way it has embraced its own content creation as a way to bypass traditional media outlets.

In 2014, FunnieOrDie.com briefly became the largest source of referrals to HealthCare.gov after Obama appeared on Zach Galifianakis's "Between Two Ferns" to plug enrolling in insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

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