On Wednesday, when President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. completes his transition to the White House, several social media companies will complete their own transitions from highly regarded official accounts.
But the handover won’t be as seamless as it was four years ago when President Barack Obama handed over the keys to much of his social empire to President Trump.
In 2017, President Obama, along with the millions of followers who had accumulated the accounts, gave official Twitter accounts to President Trump. Since then, President Trump’s digital team has used the accounts as megaphones for the administration’s agenda, increasing the number of followers: @POTUS has 33.3 million followers, @White House has 26 million, @ FLOTUS has 16.4 million and @VP has 10.3 million. The @ POTUS account alone has almost tripled among followers under Mr. Trump.
But this year, Twitter will not simply transfer followers on each account as it has done before as Mr Biden takes control. Instead, accounts with much smaller followers, most of which were created last week, are being turned into official accounts.
The transitions mean that the digital operation in Biden will have to build mostly new followers instead of having a head start on its predecessor like President Trump. Twitter said it would make users aware of the new accounts.
“People on Twitter who have previously followed institutional Twitter accounts at the White House, or who are currently following relevant Biden or Harris Twitter accounts, will receive in-app notifications and other prompts informing them of the archiving process and the option to do so enter Follow the Twitter accounts of the new administration, “said Twitter in a blog post.
@PresElectBiden, an account that was only posted once and has fewer than a million followers, becomes @POTUS, bringing in as many followers as it did on Wednesday afternoon.
Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris will bring her 5.3 million followers from her own account @ SenKamalaHarris via @VP.
The tweets on each checking account are archived under different names. For example, the Trump administration’s tweets at @POTUS are transmitted to @ POTUS45.
Mr Trump regularly used Twitter to make political announcements and fire some of the people who worked for him. It attracted millions of new supporters despite spreading misinformation about the voting process and election security.
The National Archives are preserved all of Mr. Trump’s social media activity, including deleted tweets from @POTUS and his personal account @realDonaldTrump. The President’s personal account, which the President used as an unfiltered platform for political announcements, complaints, and fleeting thoughts that often had a significant global impact, remains inaccessible following his suspension for provoking violence.
Mr Biden could still tweet under his personal account, @Joe Biden, which has 24.3 million followers.
Rob Flaherty, who will be director of digital strategy in the Biden administration, said Bloomberg News Last week it was unfair that Twitter didn’t bypass the followers of the official accounts.
“They favor the first few days of President Trump’s administration over ours,” he said. “If we don’t end the day with the 12 million followers Donald Trump inherited from Barack Obama, then they have given us less than Donald Trump and that is a failure.”
The transition will be less complicated in other social networks.
Followers of the White House The account will be shared with Mr Biden, said Kevin McAlister, a Facebook spokesman. The seven million followers of the Joe Biden account is duplicated on the POTUS Page that has 6.5 million followers and has not been used since May 2018.
The Trump White House account will be renamed so it can be archived, McAlister said.
A YouTube spokeswoman said the 1.87 million subscribers to the White House channel would be turned over to the Biden administration.
Snapchat will transfer the “Whitehouse” account along with its 803,000 subscribers to President Biden at 12:01 pm. Eastern on Wednesday said a Snap spokesman.
That means that on these sites, users who signed up to follow news from the Trump administration will soon see news from Biden, which Mr Flaherty was looking forward to.
“It is valuable to be able to communicate with an audience that disagrees with us.” he told Bloomberg News.