As Inauguration Day 2017 approached, social media users began tweeting about former President Barack Obama’s popular @POTUS Twitter account and how it would be maintained after the end of his term of office:
— Craig Bowman (@craigab1) January 20, 2017
A number of Twitter users encouraged others to “unfollow” @POTUS, asserting that the account would be transferred to the control of incoming President Donald Trump. At some point on 20 January 2017, the @POTUS account was indeed assigned to the new president:
However, President Obama’s previous Twitter account was completely ported to @POTUS44. Anyone unfollowing the @POTUS44 account would being unfollowing former President Obama and not new President Trump:
It’s been the honor of my life to serve you. You made me a better leader and a better man. — President Obama (@POTUS44) January 20, 2017
The @FLOTUS Twitter account was also transferred from former First Lady Michelle Obama to new First Lady Melania Trump:
Again, Mrs. Obama’s followers did not appear to be automatically subscribed to Mrs. Trump’s follower list. Michelle Obama’s @FLOTUS account was changed to @FLOTUS44:
Former Vice-President Joe Biden’s @VP Twitter account was similarly renamed to @VP44, and Vice-President Mike Pence was assigned the @VP account. All three of the newly assigned accounts (@POTUS, @FLOTUS, and @VP) had not tweeted as of midday on 20 January 2017.