Washington: US President Barack Obama broke a Guinness record by becoming the fastest person to garner one million followers on Twitter, a feat he accomplished in less than five hours with his new account @POTUS, Efe news agency reported.
Barack Obama. File pic
Guinness World Records, which verifies and keeps an official list of world records, said on Tuesday on its website that the president has set the new record on the social network the day before. In obtaining a million followers in less than five hours, Obama broke the record previously set by actor Robert Downey Jr., who got to the one-million mark in 23 hours and 22 minutes in April 2014.
The president already has another Twitter account, @BarackObama, which is handled by the team that directed his second presidential campaign, Organizing for America, and the messages he has written there so far have been marked with the initials "bo" to differentiate them from tweets created by other presidential staffers.
"Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account," wrote Obama in his first tweet, apparently sent from the Oval Office. The president's self-description on his Twitter profile reads: "Dad, husband, and 44th President of the United States."
The White House quickly announced that this was truly a new presidential Twitter account. White House assistant director for Internet strategy, Alex Wall, said via Twitter that the president's new account will be transferred to whoever wins the presidential election in 2016, adding that it represents a new way for Obama to communicate directly with the US people via tweets that come exclusively from him.
That question about ownership of the account had come from former president Bill Clinton, whose wife Hillary is running for president. "Welcome to @Twitter, @POTUS! One question: Does that username stay with the office? #askingforafriend," Clinton had tweeted.
And Obama replied, "Good question, @billclinton. The handle comes with the house. Know anyone interested in @FLOTUS?" - the latter designation a reference to the abbreviation for "First Lady of the US."
Already following Obama on Twitter are many government officials, the universities at which he studied -- Columbia and Harvard -- and former presidents such as Clinton and George H.W. Bush, but, for the moment, it is reported that Hillary Clinton has not joined that crowd.