Barack Obama has 437 days left in office, which I know because I correctly assumed that a lot of results would come up if I searched for “countdown to the end of obama presidency.” As he prepares to mosey on to the role of public statesman (and possibly teach at Columbia University), the president has been building a social media presence fit for civilian life. He set up a personal Twitter account in May—and now he has his own Facebook page.
The first post on the account is a video tour around the backyard of the White House. As with most of the videos our Facebook friends post, it’s pretty boring (sometimes he sees a fox!), so Obama’s fitting in well so far. The page bio describes him as a “Dad, husband, and 44th President of the United States,” in that order. The backyard video is prefaced with a post explaining that the Facebook page is “a place where you can hear directly from me, and share your own thoughts and stories.”
Unlike the “Politician” Barack Obama page, which is run by Obama’s advocacy group Organizing for Action, the new page puts Obama in the “Public Figure” category. The one dicey thing here is that the old campaign Facebook page has the URL “https://www.facebook.com/barackobama” and the new page has “https://www.facebook.com/potus,” which is basically the exact opposite of what the two pages are trying to convey. It would have been tough to plan for all of this around 2006 and 2007, though. (Custom Facebook URLs weren’t even released to everyone until June 2009.)
The new URL is consistent with Obama’s personal Twitter account, however, which is @POTUS. Apparently his strategists want to lock down the POTUS brand so no one else can have it. The Pope’s Twitter account @Pontifex gets passed from one pope to the next, but Obama may not want to be so generous. So far his new page has more than 350,000 followers.