In this photo illustration, the official page of President-Elect of the United States Joe Biden is viewed on Twitter on a smartphone.
Rafael Henrique | LightRocket | Getty Images
The Biden administration will soon have the official Twitter accounts for the White House, but the accounts will not be tagged as they did when President Trump took over Barack Obama in 2017.
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed in a statement Tuesday that if the platform transfers institutional accounts such as @WhiteHouse, @POTUS, and @VP on inauguration day, it “won’t automatically keep its existing followers”. Currently, the @ POTUS account has more than 33 million followers while @WhiteHouse has 26 million.
This process is different from the last time the accounts changed hands. This was also the first transition in accounts as they were created during the Obama era. The accounts kept their supporters through this change of president.
Tweets from Obama and his administration have been archived under new Twitter handles, a process that is being replicated.
Users who follow the institutional accounts will be encouraged to continue to follow them after the change of control, according to Twitter’s statement.
“For example, people who follow @WhiteHouse will be notified that the account has been archived as @WhiteHouse45 and given the option to follow the new @WhiteHouse account,” the spokesman said.
The previous Tuesday, Rob Flaherty, digital director of the Biden campaign, shared on Twitter that the company had told the Biden team that accounts would start with zero followers. The command prompt will likely make it easy for Biden to get a lot of new followers, although some users will likely choose to stop following them while they are in the hands of the next administration.
Biden’s transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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