The incoming Commander in Chief on Thursday launched a new Twitter account to help transition into his new role ahead of Inauguration Day. @PresElectBiden will be “the account for my official duties as president,” the first (and, as of press time, only) tweet reads.
“At 12:01 p.m. [ET] on Jan. 20, it will become @POTUS. Until then, I’ll be using @JoeBiden,” he wrote, encouraging folks to also follow VP-elect Kamala Harris, future First Lady Jill Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, as well as the official Biden-Harris presidential transition account.
It’s unclear exactly when Biden created the verified account, which already boasts some 420,000 followers. His introductory tweet, posted at 10:15 p.m. Thursday, has amassed 144,000-plus likes and been retweeted more than 36,000 times.
Keys to the White House and access to nuclear launch codes aren’t the only things the president-elect will collect next week. Twitter and Facebook plan to hand over control of their @POTUS accounts to the new administration on Jan. 20, 2021. The handover requires no sharing of information; all existing tweets will be archived and the accounts wiped clean—a tradition that began when President Barack Obama left office four years ago.
“These institutional accounts will not automatically retain the followers from the prior administration,” according to a Twitter blog announcement. Instead, those who previously followed institutional White House accounts or currently follow relevant Biden or Harris pages can look out for in-app alerts and prompts notifying them of the archival process and providing the option to follow the new administration—a move that is, according to the incoming administration’s director of digital strategy Rob Flaherty, “absolutely, profoundly insufficient.”
Biden will presumably keep his individual account active, though there’s no word on what, if anything, he may use it for during his presidency. Unlike Donald Trump, who preferred his now-defunct personal page to the official offerings.