Obama and social media
July 6th, 2011
04:58 PM ET

Obama and social media

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.


Topics: President Obama • Social Media • Twitter

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Jay in NC

    What Facebook and Twitter will not tell us is exactly how many active accounts exist. Once the truth is known each company will fall by the wayside and like Geo Cities, and AOL will be forgotten.

    July 6, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  2. Mark from Louisiana

    obama lied again today, does he think we are stupid? He claims white house staffers have not gotten a raise since he was elected.

    But high turnover left plenty of room for White House staffers climb up the ladder and snag huge pay boosts. One of Obama's first acts as president was to freeze the salaries of all White House officials earning more than $100,000 because "during this period of economic emergency, families are tightening their belts, and so should Washington." Two years later, he extended that policy to all federal workers, using the same logic: "Small businesses and families are tightening their belts. Their government should too." But the across-the-board freeze didn't take effect until January 1, 2011, so the most recent report (which goes back to July 2010) features some eye-opening raises, like special assistant to the president for economic policy Matthew Vogel's $59,000, 82% raise to an annual salary of $130,500, or director of African American media Kevin Lewis' $36,000, 86% pay hike.

    Both of those were accompanied by title changes indicating that the bigger paychecks came along with new duties. But almost half of the raises doled out by the White House in the last year—59, or 40% of all raises—weren't accompanied by new job descriptions. One of them—special assistant and associate counsel to the president Michael Gottlieb's 14% pay bump from $114,000 to $130,500—was a clear violation of Obama's freeze on salaries over $100,000.

    July 6, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • Mike D

      Mark,

      Isn't that how it's supposed to work? If I do a good job and an opportunity for advancement in my company comes open, I should get a promotion. You know if you just hate Obama, just say, "I hate Obama", you don't need to come up with senseless excuses for why, I think it's pretty obvious anyway.

      July 7, 2011 at 1:24 am |
  3. anonymous

    Congratulations Obama,

    But sorry, I have plenty more email addresses as you know. HAHAHA

    July 6, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  4. Pete Sommers

    This was a total crock! All this program was, was just CNN providing free campaign air time with O'Bama answering prearranged questions. Granted, O'Bama is a masterful speaker, when he practices his answers that is. But listen to him speak off the cuff, or in a debate, and he will trip all over himself.

    O'Bama is also a Master of Pronouncement.
    “We need to get people back to work!”
    “We need to implement measures to get the economy back on track!”
    “We need to . . . .”
    No answers; just pronouncements. Just because he may sound good making those kinds of statements doesn't mean he has a clue about how to fix this country. All he does is play the Blame Game. He has no substance. He is merely a facade. A Sham. And hopefully, he will be a one-term president.

    Remember; O'Bama fool you once, shame on O'Bama. O'Bama fool you twice, shame on YOU!

    July 7, 2011 at 11:27 am |