As President Obama prepares to leave the White House, his team must gather up not only his physical belongings, but the tweets, blog posts and other online content produced over the last eight years. Such a bevy of accounts and internet discourse is not simple to shift, so the White House has outlined exactly what will move where tomorrow. To keep up with the outgoing President, you’ll need to follow @BarackObama on Twitter, facebook.com/BarackObama and instagram.com/BarackObama. First Lady Michelle Obama will take a similar position online, posting with the @MichelleObama handle on Twitter and Snapchat, facebook.com/MichelleObama and Instagram.com/MichelleObama.
The current version of the White House website will be preserved at ObamaWhiteHouse.gov by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The agency will also manage a new set of social media accounts designed to store the tweets, articles and photos released by Obama and his team over the last eight years. President Obama’s musings under @POTUS will be preserved at @POTUS44, while his Facebook posts will be stored at facebook.com/POTUS44. Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will have their official tweets archived at @FLOTUS44 and @VP44 — you get where I’m going with this, right?
The official White House handles will be passed over to the next administration. These include @WhiteHouse, @POTUS, @VP and @FLOTUS on Twitter, Facebook.com/WhiteHouse and Instagram.com/WhiteHouse. No surprise there, really. (Although President-elect Donald Trump has said he wants to keep tweeting from his personal account.) For a full breakdown of the changing accounts, it’s worth perusing this White House blog post. While a massive undertaking, it’s undoubtedly important to preserve the digital legacy of the President, the First Lady and the rest of the Obama White House team. Understanding how this group embraced social media between 2009 and 2017 will be vital in the future for historians, politicians and reflective citizens alike.