The Obama Presidency

The Obama team is revolutionizing White House communications.
The Obama team is revolutionizing White House communications. (
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Saturday, May 2, 2009

White House Joins Networking Sites

Will the BlackBerry-ing president fire off the tweets himself?

The White House announced yesterday that it had established a presence on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. The news came in a blog posting on

In a nod to the informal tone of the Web, Obama's Twitter username is an all-lowercase "whitehouse."

The White House new-media team wrote in the posting: "Technology has profoundly impacted how -- and where -- we all consume information and communicate with one another."

About two hours after the announcement, Obama's Twitter account already had 2,281 followers. It had sent five updates, two of them related to the swine flu outbreak.

The official White House pages on MySpace and Facebook also link to flu-related information. As of Friday afternoon, the White House had nearly 400 friends on MySpace and about 490 fans on Facebook.

The White House also maintains an active presence on Flickr, Vimeo, YouTube and iTunes.

But questions remain: What will happen, for instance, when a Facebook user voices displeasure on the official White House page? During the presidential campaign, Obama was forced to respond to users of, his own social networking platform, when they organized and conveyed their opposition to one of his policy positions.

-- Jose Antonio Vargas

© 2009 The Washington Post Company