United States of America’s President, Barrack Obama eventually joined the growing list of global leaders reaching to their subjects via social media platform; twitter on Monday, May 18, 2015.
And barely 15 hours President Obama’s @POTUS account was launched, it notched 1.6million followers with the 44th US head of state following just 65 people.
“Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account,” Mr Obama said in his inaugural tweet sent from a smartphone in the Oval Office.
“In Camden today, seeing first-hand how smart policing is making the community safer while building trust,” Obama tweeted later.
The White House later tweeted a short video of Mr Obama sending his tweet from the Oval Office, perched on the edge of the historic resolute presidential desk. It also explained @POTUS offers the President a unique platfoem of reaching out to people as it cast off security and bureaucratic chains in place since he was elected.
“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,” the White House said.
Until now Mr Obama had tweeted through his executive staff @WhiteHouse or the remnants of his campaign staff @BarackObama. “I can’t use phones with recorders in them,” Obama disclosed on chat show Jimmy Kimmel Live earlier this year.
The already verified account featured the customary headshot of Mr Obama, but also a background photo of him walking over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, where he marked the 50th anniversary of a civil rights march in March.
He described himself as “Dad, husband, and 44th president of the United States” and followed his alma maters, his beloved Chicago sports teams, cabinet members, government departments and key members of the army of White House staff who tweet.
Mr Obama also followed former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, but is not following @HillaryClinton, his former secretary of state who is considered the frontrunner for the Democratic race for 2016.
Former president and husband of Ms Clinton, Bill Clinton, tweeted in response asking if the username stayed with the office, with the hashtag “asking for a friend”.
A White House spokesman confirmed that when his time in office is done, @POTUS will be passed on to future presidents.
By Olisemeka Obeche