Twitter is giving President Biden a fresh start on the platform. On January 20th, 2021 — the day of Biden’s inauguration — all existing followers of the POTUS and WhiteHouse accounts were removed for the new administration, to begin with, a clean slate. This was, as Rob Flaherty, Biden’s digital director, revealed late last December.
The move by Twitter makes sense, considering how little overlap there is between outgoing President Trump’s 52 million followers and what it considers “real” users (as opposed to bots). However, it will take time and effort for the Biden Administration to rebuild its presence on Twitter. The account now only has 646K followers – less than 1/8th of what Trump had when he left office.
This isn’t the first time Twitter has wiped its slate clean upon a transition of power. In 2017, following former President Obama’s departure, the accounts were reset to zero followers when Trump took over.
The Biden Administration has already made some moves to drum up more engagement on Twitter. During his inauguration speech today, Biden encouraged those listening to follow him on both Twitter Potus Theverge and Whitehouse accounts — so if you haven’t, now might be a perfect time! Let’s help give President Biden the social media support he needs as he embarks on his new role as Commander-in-Chief.
In the end, making Twitter accounts for the President and White House a blank slate upon each transition of power ensures that any new administration can start fresh. It also serves as a reminder to followers of how quickly things can change — and encourages everyone to get involved in the conversation. Let’s all do our part in helping President Biden rebuild his presence on Twitter!
Q: How many followers did President Trump have on the POTUS and White House accounts when he left office?
A: President Trump had 52 million followers on the official Twitter Potus Theverge and White House Twitter accounts before leaving office.
Q: What changes has the Biden Administration made to build its presence on Twitter?
A: During his inauguration speech today, Joe Biden encouraged listeners to follow him on both POTUS and White House accounts — so if you haven’t already, now might be a perfect time! The administration is also taking other steps to increase engagement on Twitter.
Q: Why does Twitter reset its slate upon each transition of power?
A: Resetting its slate upon each transition of power allows any new administration to have a clean start on the platform and build its presence from scratch. It also serves as a reminder to followers of how quickly things can change — and encourages everyone to get involved in the conversation.
Q: Does Twitter transfer existing followers over to the new president’s account upon transition of power?
A: No, Twitter does not transfer existing followers over to the new president’s account upon transition of power. Instead, it wipes out all current followers from the Twitter Potus Theverge and White House accounts and starts from zero. This was revealed by Rob Flaherty, Biden’s digital director, late last December.
Q: What is President Biden’s current follower count?
A: As of January 20th, 2021 — the day of Biden’s inauguration — President Biden’s follower count is 646K. This is significantly lower than the 52 million followers that former President Trump had when he left office.