The peaceful transition of power taking place at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Friday was also taking place online, as the official Twitter feed for the president changed hands from Barack Obama to Donald Trump.
The @POTUS feed run by Obama had 13.7 million followers and 352 tweets just before 9 a.m. PT. As Trump took the oath of office, the feed became his and the old tweets disappeared and the banner and profile images swapped. There were 3.8 million followers Friday morning.
A tiny grey bird sat above a message that read, “@POTUS hasn’t tweeted yet.”
Recode smartly pointed out that the new banner photo borrowed heavily from the past. It wasn’t taken at Friday’s inauguration, but rather it’s a Getty Images photo from 2009 when President Obama was sworn in — and the crowd on The Mall was much larger.
The image has since been swapped for an American flag.
Over on @realDonaldTrump, a feed which the president has said he will continue to use, there were still 34,000 tweets to savor. Trump has embraced the platform as a means to promote his own message and redirect and — some say — distract from whatever is being said about him elsewhere.
The Obama administration, which used a variety of internet sites and social media platforms to promote its work and vision for eight years, promised a smooth handover of those online tools. WhiteHouse.gov, the official web site of the administration, made the switch over to Trump content as well.
All of Obama’s images and videos and postings of all sorts will be archived at this Obama White House site.
Update: The first tweet from the new @POTUS feed showed up at 11:11 a.m. PT and featured a photo of Trump as he was about to emerge at the Capitol. The tweet linked to Trump’s official Facebook page and the transcript of his inaugural address.
— President Trump (@POTUS) January 20, 2017
Update: And then the banner photo changed again, to one of Trump looking out a window in the White House, it appears.