WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is embracing short-form communication. Twitter has a new @POTUS account.
For years, White House officials have used Twitter to communicate White House policy and occasional personal observations.
But Obama himself pretty much stayed out of the social media fray.
With a frugal 91-character message — 49 short of maximum permitted — Obama on Monday declared: "Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account."
Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account.— President Obama (@POTUS) May 18, 2015
The account name — @POTUS — stands for the common acronym used for President of the United States.
The White House says the tweets on that account will come exclusively from the president. The Obama-affiliated Organizing for Action group has an @BarackObama account that is mostly written by staff. Obama has on rare occasions used it and signaled the message was personal by signing it with his initials, BO.
The move is the latest by a White House particularly attuned to social media and new technology. But Twitter, with its ability to be anonymously interactive, is a new forum for the president, even one who carries his own Blackberry.