When President-elect Joe Biden takes office in 2021, Twitter will be resetting the @POTUS account to zero followers. In turn, the Biden administration will have to start from scratch and establish a new following on Twitter.
Twitter Plans for a Peaceful Transfer of Accounts
Twitter has made the decision to reset all of the accounts associated with the current presidential administration in January 2021. The follower counts will be reduced to zero, and all of the previous Tweets will be erased and archived.
Not only does this include the account associated with the president (@POTUS), but it also includes the first lady’s account (@FLOTUS), the vice president’s account (@VP), as well as the accounts for the press secretary, the cabinet, and The White House.
Right now, @POTUS has a whopping 33.2 million followers, @FLOTUS has 16.4 million, The White House has 26 million, and the vice president has 10.3 million. All of these large follower counts will be reduced to zero in just a matter of weeks.
When former President Obama left office in 2017, the administration’s Tweets on @POTUS were transferred to a new home, @POTUS44. The @POTUS44 account was able to keep the followers it previously had on @POTUS.
After President Trump took over the @POTUS account, it retained its follower count from the Obama administration. Biden won’t have the luxury of getting this hand-me-down from the previous administration, so he’ll have to start over.
The digital director for the Biden administration, Rob Flaherty, sent out a Tweet, commenting on the situation. He notes that Twitter has told his team that “the Biden administration will have to start from zero.”
In 2020, Twitter has informed us that as of right now the Biden administration will have to start from zero. https://t.co/wj1R02SmiK
— Rob Flaherty (@Rob_Flaherty) December 22, 2020
To help the Biden administration regain a following on Twitter, the current followers of all the accounts associated with The White House will receive a notification when Biden takes office.
This notification will let users know that the political accounts they’re following have been archived, and it will also prompt users to follow the accounts associated with the new administration.
Biden’s personal Twitter account (@JoeBiden) currently stands at 21.6 million followers, so his administration shouldn’t have much of a problem regaining an audience on Twitter.
The Presidential Transition on Twitter
The simple transfer of a Twitter account has never seemed so important. In this day and age, the transfer of power has become so much more than an inauguration process. At this point, it honestly wouldn’t be that surprising if the transfer of the @POTUS Twitter account makes its way into the ceremony.