Michelle Obama got off to a strong start on her first day on Instagram — four photos and two videos from Senegal, the first stop on the presidential trip to Africa, and as of 2 p.m., already more than 21,000 followers.
But for all the excitement about the first lady joining another social-media platform — who knows if she’s actually going to stick with it? She also got off to a strong start on Twitter five months ago (how many followers did she nab with that well-timed first photo of her new bangs?).
Yet, as with so many other political figures, her feed quickly turned into just another venue for cautious PR. The vast majority of her 266 tweets have been stiff staff-written proclamations (“The First Lady hosted a tea today for Mrs. Emine Erdoğan, wife of the Prime Minister of Turkey”), or retweets of fans or other White House feeds. Most of the 45 tweets signed by Obama herself (“–mo”) have been similarly anodyne (“Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there — especially you, POTUS!”) — and she’s not even doing many of those in recent weeks. (See also: Hillary Clinton, who has tweeted exactly seven times since her social-media debut made front-page news two weeks ago.)