This Wednesday, when President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. completes his transition to the White House, several social media companies will finish their own official account transitions that are very followed.
But the transfer will not be as smooth as four years ago, when President Barack Obama handed over the keys of much of his social empire to President Trump.
In 2017, the president Obama transferred official Twitter accounts to President Trump, along with the millions of followers of those accounts.
Trump’s account was suspended last week. Reuters photo
Since then, President Trump’s digital team has used the accounts as megaphones for his administration’s agenda and has increased the number of followers: now @POTUS has 33.3 million of followers, @WhiteHouse has 26 million, @FLOTUS has 16.4 million and @VP reached 10.3 million. The @POTUS account alone has almost tripled in followers during Trump’s tenure.
But this year, instead of simply handing them over, as it has done before, Twitter will not transfer followers from each account when Biden takes over. Instead, you have much fewer followers, most of which were created last week, they will become the official ones.
This means that, to a large extent, Biden’s digital operation will have to build new followers from scratch, instead of having an advantage over his predecessor as happened to President Trump. Twitter said it will alert users to the new accounts.
Individuals who were following the White House institutional Twitter accounts, or currently following relevant Biden or Harris Twitter accounts, will receive in-app alerts and other prompts notifying them of the archiving process, and will be given the option to follow the Twitter accounts of the new administration “
Twitter, in a blog post
@PresElectBiden, an account that has only posted once and has less than a million followers, will become @POTUS, keeping all followers have it on Wednesday afternoon.
The vice president-elect Kamala Harris will transfer all 5.3 million followers from her @SenKamalaHarris account to @VP.
Biden’s account for the transition process, @ Transition46, has 1.5 million followers and will become @WhiteHouse.
And @FLOTUSBiden, Jill Biden’s new account who has about 530,000 followers, will become @FLOTUS.
In 2017, Trump wasted little time using the @POTUS account and sent his first tweet from the new administration just two hours after he took over on the day of his inauguration. (She continued to use her personal account until this month, when Twitter suspended her.)
Tweets for each account will be archived under different names. Those of the Trump administration, for example, will be transferred to @ POTUS45.
Trump regularly used Twitter to make policy announcements and fire some of the people who worked for him, attracting millions of new followers, but also spreading misinformation.a on the voting process and electoral security.
The National Archives will preserve all Trump social media activity, including deleted tweets from @POTUS and his @realDonaldTrump account.
As for his personal account, which the president used as an unfiltered platform to announce his policies, air grievances, and fleeting thoughts that often had significant global ramifications, remains inaccessible after she was suspended for inciting violence.
Biden could also tweet from his personal account, @JoeBiden, which has 24.3 million followers.
Rob Flaherty, who will be the director of digital strategy in the Biden administration, told Bloomberg News last week that the fact that Twitter has decided not to transfer followers from the official accounts was unfair.
tweet from donald trump
“President Trump had an advantage during the first days of his administration that we will not have,” he said. “If they don’t transfer us the 12 million followers that Donald Trump he inherited from Barack Obama, so they have given us less than what they gave Donald Trump, and that is a failure ”.
Flaherty called the Twitter account a “public good,” noting that followers include “a lot of bots and trolls, but also a lot of people who don’t really get involved in politics.”
The transition will be less complicated in other social networks, which already said that they will implement the same processes as four years ago.
On Facebook, the followers of the White House account will go to Biden, said Kevin McAlister, a spokesman for that social network. The 7 million followers of Joe Biden’s account will be double that of the POTUS page, which has 6.5 million followers and has not been used since May 2018.
Trump says goodbye to the White House. Photo EFE
To Trump’s account at the White House it will be renamed so that it can be archivedMcAlister said.
The same procedures will be carried out on Instagram, where the White House account has 6.8 million followers. Joe Biden’s account has 15.4 million followers on Instagram.
A spokesperson for Youtube said the 1.87 million subscribers to the White House channel they will be transferred to the Biden government.
Snapchat will transfer the White House account, along with its 803,000 subscribers, to President Biden at 12:01 p.m. Wednesday, a Snap spokesperson said.
That means that on those social networks, users who had signed up to follow news of the Trump administration will soon see news of Biden’s tenure, something Flaherty said he was looking forward to.
“Being able to communicate with an audience that disagrees with us is valuable,” he told Bloomberg News.
By Daniel Víctor – New York Times c.2021 The New York Times Company
JB / SL