Twitter transferred the White House accounts to the Biden team on Wednesday after President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris took the oath of office. In addition to @POTUS, those are @WhiteHouse, @VP, @FLOTUS and @PressSec. In addition, Twitter has created a new account for Harris’ husband, Douglas Emhoff: @SecondGentleman.
With the changeover, the White House accounts did not carry over the millions of followers from the Trump administration (unlike in 2017, when Trump inherited Obama’s @POTUS followers).
Twitter migrated followers of the Biden team’s previous handles to the new accounts: @PresElectBiden became @POTUS; @Transition46 became @WhiteHouse; @SenKamalaHarris has become @VP; @FLOTUSBiden has become @FLOTUS; and @PressSecPsaki has become @PressSec. The social network will alert the White House accounts’ previous followers to let them re-follow the new administration’s accounts.
As of this writing, Biden’s @POTUS account has about 1 million followers and @WhiteHouse has 1.5 million.
The new Biden-controlled @WhiteHouse account posted its first tweet at 12:14 p.m. ET under the new Twitter handle, comprising a 96-second campaign video and the caption, “Today, the work begins.”
Today, the work begins. pic.twitter.com/OqdALNJj4A
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 20, 2021
The Trump administration’s @POTUS account is now archived under @POTUS45, just as the Obama administration’s account was archived at @POTUS44. Former President Obama was the first to use the @POTUS Twitter handle, which launched back in May 2015.
The @POTUS45 archive and those for @WhiteHouse45, @VP45, @PressSec45, @FLOTUS45 and @SecondLady45 are managed by the National Archives and Records Administration. The agency said it would “receive, preserve, and provide public access to all official Trump Administration social media content, including deleted posts from @realDonaldTrump and @POTUS.” The content from the ex-president’s accounts will be made available online at NARA’s newly established trumplibrary.gov website.
On Jan. 8, Twitter permanently banned Trump’s personal account after pro-Trump attackers stormed into the U.S. Capitol in a deadly clash with police and Twitter determined that Trump had repeatedly violated its policies against inciting violence. That wiped out all of the 59,600 tweets — including numerous rancorous, self-aggrandizing and lie-filled posts — sent from @realDonaldTrump.
Meanwhile, Facebook similarly transferred the official White House page to Biden’s team and the followers of Joe Biden’s page were migrated to the POTUS page (which the Trump administration has not updated since May 2018). The social giant suspended Trump’s personal access to Facebook and Instagram indefinitely, citing the risk of inciting violence.