Joe Biden’s transition team launched a new account for the president-elect on 14 January, @PresElectBiden.
The account has a temporary Twitter handle as it will automatically become @POTUS when the Democrat is sworn-in on 20 January, while President Donald Trump’s @POTUS account will be archived as @POTUS45.
Creating an account before the official swearing-in was seen as giving Biden’s team time to build up a following before taking over the official institutional account.
Earlier, the President-elect’s team had deplored the fact that Donald Trump had inherited the @POTUS and @WhiteHouse account that had been built up during the White House tenure of former President Barack Obama.
As President-elect Biden is sworn in on January 20, 2021, Twitter will facilitate the transfer of institutional White House Twitter accounts, including: @WhiteHouse, @POTUS, @VP, @FLOTUS, and @PressSec. #𝗧𝘄𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 #𝗜𝗻𝗮𝘂𝗴𝘂𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻2021— Atef (@Atef) January 15, 2021
According to the microblogging and social networking service people who previously followed institutional White House Twitter accounts, or who currently follow relevant Biden or Harris Twitter accounts, would be sent in-app alerts to ‘notify them about the archival process’.
Twitter had earlier permanently suspended the sitting president’s account in the wake of the Capitol riots, when Trump supporters stormed the building in Washington, DC, on 6 January, as Congress convened to certify Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 US presidential election.
The POTUS was accused of having inspired the riots by insisting the election had been ‘stolen’ from him.
On 13 January the US House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump for a second time for “incitement to violence".
Folks — This will be the account for my official duties as President. At 12:01 PM on January 20th, it will become @POTUS. Until then, I'll be using @JoeBiden. And while you're here, follow @FLOTUSBiden @SenKamalaHarris @SecondGentleman and @Transition46.— President-elect Biden (@PresElectBiden) January 15, 2021
As Joe Biden tweeted the move, the Twitterverse was quick to weigh in. Some applauded the incoming president and looked forward to the Democrat wielding the official presidential account.
It’s going to be great having a President again!— Skot2uk3000 🆘 (@skot2uk3000) January 15, 2021
We haven’t had one for 4 years!
Some on the Twitterverse seemed slightly confused over the transition Twitter handle.
Wait does this mean if I'm following @POTUS now that it will get renamed to something else, and then I'll be following that account? What will @POTUS be called at that point? I'm asking for all the jerkwads following @POTUS now— Lou Balrog (d/b/a Bull Ragoo) (@LouBalrog) January 15, 2021
My understanding is as others have said and that the account flowed from president to president and will role over to the new president.— Bubbles76 (@BubbleSass76) January 15, 2021
Many netizens were unenthusiastic, as they deplored extensive ‘mishandling’ of social media as divisive.
Another sewage pipe of meaningless platitudes for me to mute...— ✝️🦇Vampire Jesus🦇✝️ (@_Vampire_Jesus_) January 16, 2021
May he never use it— prince of whales (@notthatcool8) January 16, 2021
Is there a way to shut down social media for a month, @PresElectBiden?— Piping Hot Centrist Takes (@CentristLogic) January 15, 2021
It's tearing our country apart.
Wow. A president that can be trusted to tweet. What a novel idea— INSURRECTILE DYSFUNCTION🎵🐶 (@ozzy_norris) January 16, 2021
Didn’t follow Trump on Twitter, won’t follow Biden. I can’t imagine following a president on Twitter. Like you won’t hear from them enough? Read a newspaper.— Ellis I. Boothe (@ellis_boothe) January 16, 2021
You could've just retweeted the announcement but you'd rather waste everyone's time for the sake of engagement on your platform/tweetshttps://t.co/oUSssgyUtB— @d®|@ñ (@SgtSinical) January 16, 2021
Biden doesn’t deserve the POTUS title , he doesn’t even know how to spell it.— Lucylu (@Lucylu59148830) January 16, 2021
Very cool, now stop gaslighting us about every single campaign promise and fucking do something.— YoungDanforth (@YoungDanforth) January 15, 2021
Some Twitter users said they were only going to follow Biden because of his dogs, two German shepherds, Champ and Major, and suggested they get Twitter accounts.
Can Champ and Major please get an official Twitter too? 💙💙 pic.twitter.com/4jlHIGv69C— Punk-Ass Book Jockey (@bartsnz) January 15, 2021
We are following for the Champ and Major content. pic.twitter.com/q8NWDx245j— Trudi Gilfillian (@TrudiGilfillian) January 15, 2021