Digital heritage

Barack Obama leaves his successor a precious digital legacy: the president's Twitter account, which now has some eleven million subscribers.


The account is to be placed under the control of the new incumbent on handover day on January 20, 2017, the White House announced in Washington on Monday. Communications on the Twitter account, which was launched in May 2015, will be preserved for posterity at the National Archives.

The White House on Monday for the first time presented a plan for the "handover of office in the digital age". Included are the considerations for the further handling of the US president's digital channels, which were first set up under Obama - including accounts on Facebook, Flickr, Vimeo, Instagram, Itunes, MySpace (sic!) and Snapchat. They, too, are to be passed on.

"This digital infrastructure is an asset that the next president and all successors will be able to build on," said Obama's digital adviser Kori Schulman.

On Twitter, Obama has posted around 300 messages since 2015 using the account @POTUS. The abbreviation stands for "President of the United States". Similar to Obama's Twitter account, the accounts of the first lady - @FLOTUS - and the vice president - @VP - are to be handled. (SDA/hae)

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