More than 26 million people follow the White House Twitter account (@WhiteHouse), and more than 33 million people follow the Twitter account of the U.S. President (@POTUS). These accounts started during the administration of President Barack Obama. When President Donald Trump succeeded President Obama in office, Twitter ensured that these accounts automatically retained their followers. This was also true of the Twitter account for the U.S. Vice President (@VP) when current Vice President Mike Pence succeeded then-Vice President Joe Biden in 2016.
However, Twitter will implement a different policy during the transition from Trump to President-Elect Biden, and from Pence to Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. The followers of the Twitter accounts for the White House, the President, and the Vice President will receive a prompt that asks them whether they want to continue following these accounts under the Biden administration. Technically, these accounts will start at zero followers. Some users may decide not to continue following the accounts, but Biden and Harris also can expect to garner many new followers who did not previously follow the institutional accounts.
During the transition from Obama to Trump, Twitter archived tweets by institutional accounts associated with the Obama administration. They created new Twitter handles to serve as archives. This process will repeat during the transition from Trump to Biden. Tweets by the Trump administration on the White House account, for example, will be archived under the @WhiteHouse45 handle. Current followers of each institutional account will receive a notice explaining where they can find the archived tweets of the Trump administration.
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