Whether President Barack Obama’s first ever Twitter town hall is considered a #success or #fail, it’s surely another example of the White House’s embrace of social media and technology.
Here’s a look back at some of the key uses of social media since Obama was elected:
In April, President Obama participated in a town hall moderated by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California. The president answered questions before a small audience about the economy and the federal deficit. The event was broadcast live, available to Facebook's more than 500 million users.
Nearly 22 million users ‘like’ the president’s Facebook page. It’s the 39th most popular fan page, slightly below the Black Eyed Peas but just above Oreo cookies.
Obama is also no stranger to YouTube. Just two days after January’s State of the Union address, he took to YouTube to directly answer questions submitted by viewers about the administration policies he laid out two nights earlier. During the YouTube interview, the Obama experienced a rare speaking stumble, referring twice to Afghanistan when clearly talking about the situation in Iraq.
The White House has uploaded more than 2,000 videos to their official YouTube channel, racking up over 57 million total views. Videos include the president’s weekly address, which in previous administrations was broadcast as audio only.
On Twitter, Barack Obama’s campaign account, @BarackObama, is the third most followed account with nearly 9 million followers, just behind Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. The official White House account, @WhiteHouse, is ranked 93rd with over 2.2 million followers. Starting last month, Obama’s reelection campaign announced the president would start tweeting himself, addressing personal tweets with ‘-BO,’ though he’s only sent out one tweet so far. However, the president did write and send his first live tweet from @Whitehouse at the beginning of Wednesday’s Twitter town hall.
Obama is also the first president to use a Blackberry device while in office.
Obama’s use of social media didn’t start with his presidency though; he dominated social media during the 2008 elections by standing apart from the crowd as the most popular candidate online.
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