The Twitter account @POTUS was transferred to newly inaugurated President Donald Trump on Friday, dropping 10 million followers initially after the transfer.
Former President Barack Obama created the @POTUS Twitter handle when Twitter began to become a prominent part of American culture, but always planned to pass it on to the next president when the transfer of power occurred.
The former president’s account and tweets were transferred to @POTUS44, where they will be archived. His 13.8 million followers were added to the new account automatically.
When the transfer occurred, @POTUS fell from 13.8 million followers at 10:30 a.m. to 3.6 million at 12:15 p.m., The Wrap reported. Twitter acknowledged it was still working on transferring the old account’s followers to the new account, however.
It was unclear whether the drop in followers was due to Twitter’s transfer process or whether many followers of Obama’s @POTUS account were dropping off as the account transferred to Trump. As of 3 p.m. Eastern time, the account was up to 7.16 million followers and appeared to be climbing rapidly.
Trump indicated he would still be using his @RealDonaldTrump twitter handle in addition to @POTUS. In fact, he tweeted from @RealDonaldTrump only an hour after the inauguration. His private handle has 20.7 million followers on Twitter.
“@realDonaldTrump I think, I’ll keep it,” Trump told The Times. “So I’ve got 46 million people right now—that’s a lot, that’s really a lot—but 46 million—including Facebook, Twitter and ya know, Instagram, so when you think that you’re 46 million there, I’d rather just let that build up and just keep it @realDonaldTrump, it’s working.”
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