Screengrab via Twitter

Here’s how the @POTUS transition on Twitter will work

If you're confused about how Twitter is handling the @POTUS transition, here's what you need to know.


Christina Bonnington


Published Jan 20, 2017   Updated May 25, 2021, 4:13 am CDT

For the past eight years, President Barack Obama has been the owner of the official @POTUS Twitter account, but today, there’s a new POTUS in town. Twitter is passing on the digital torch, but don’t worry, if you don’t want to follow our new president’s @POTUS adventures, you won’t have to. Here’s how the transition works.

If you previously followed @POTUS, Twitter will automatically keep you as a follower of @POTUS44—the now-archival Twitter feed of Obama’s presidency, which has 13.8 million followers. Twitter will also automatically unfollow you from the @POTUS account. If you want to follow the new @POTUS, you can head here to follow him. (Trump’s new account currently 4.19 million followers at the time of publishing.) 

Similarly, First Lady Michelle Obama’s tweets will be archived at @FLOTUS44. If you followed @FLOTUS, you will now see that you follow @FLOTUS44. Our new First Lady now has the reigns of the @FLOTUS Twitter handle. Twitter and the White House team are using a similar strategy for Joe Biden and the @VP account: existing @VP followers will see they now follow @VP44, and those who want to follow Vice President Mike Pence can follow @VP

As seen in the tweet above, President Obama and former FLOTUS Michelle Obama can also still be followed at @BarackObama (which has 80.8 million followers) and @MichelleObama (6.03 million followers).

Trump’s transition team says that the new president will continue to tweet from his @realdonaldtrump account, while the @POTUS account will be used for official business. Following his inauguration address, it appears there is no official business yet deemed tweet-worthy (@VP, on the other hand, has tweeted once.)

Outside of Twitter, the new White House administration will take over the official White House Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, and YouTube accounts.


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*First Published: Jan 20, 2017, 2:05 pm CST