On Thursday 19th May the US President, Barack Obama, finally opened his own account as US President on Twitter, @POTUS. Less than five hours later, news agencies reported that the President’s account had set a new Guinness World Record:The fastest time to reach one million followers on Twitter.
The world record had previously been held by Robert Downey Jnr, who managed to attract over 1 million followers in just under 24 hours.
Obama already had a Twitter account, @BarackObama, with around 60 million followers. However, the new one is directly and officially associated with the Presidential Office.
The account is @POTUS which stands for President of the United States. Obama also suggested that it will be used by every new President who takes up office.
Obama promised that all the tweets coming from the @POTUS account will be his own and not from his staff. They will include postings of his travels and speeches.
Already he has had a bit of banter on Twitter with Bill Clinton suggesting an account handle for the First Lady of the United States: @FLOTUS.
Since Hilary Clinton is in the running for the US Presidential elections, former President Bill Clinton could theoretically gain the handle @FGOTUS - First Gentleman of the United States should Hilary be victorious.
Obama's sense of Internet
As touched upon in another recent article, the very first US President Campaign for Obama was a remarkable success and, so far, the US President’s Office has frequently used social media and the internet in promoting campaigns and to illustrate his reforms.
The Guinness World Record broken by Obama reflects the weight this man gives to media on the Internet. However, if we were to discuss only the Obama campaigns, we would diminish his own vision of the Internet. His vision to push for a free and open internet, which is also known as Net Neutrality.
Aside from his death, John Fitzgerald Kennedy is well known as the father of the Modern Presidential Campaign – realising the power of television. Similarly, Obama will, in all probability, be known as the father of the Modern Social Media Presidential Campaign through his use of the Internet and social media.
The record and other numbers
Eric Schultz, Obama's Principal Deputy Press Secretary, announced the record with a Tweet.
The former 'million followers' record was held by Robert Downey Jr. and took almost one whole day (23 hours and 22 minutes) in April 2014.
However, neither Robert Downey Jr nor the President have the highest number of followers.
Here is the chart for the top three accounts:
- Katy Perry has almost 70 million
- Justin Bieber has 64 million
- Obama's other Twitter account, @BarackObama, has 59.3 million
@BarackObama is currently managed by the Organizing for Action staff.
The Twitter's official account for government and politic statistics (@gov) released a very interesting animated diagram to show the growth of the President's new account across the globe.
You can see the diagram in time lapse by clicking here.
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