Jan 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Facebook, Instagram transfer accounts, followers to Biden administration

Screenshot of official White House Facebook account.

Facebook on Wednesday confirmed that it is transferring the millions of followers of the official Facebook and Instagram White House accounts to the Biden administration.

Details: The accounts for "@POTUS," "@VicePresident" ("@VP" on Instagram) and "@FLOTUS" are having the followers from their personal Pages and accounts be transferred over. It's unclear when that transition process will be complete.

  • The followers from the official White House Facebook Page and Instagram account are being duplicated to the new administration's White House Facebook Page and Instagram account.
  • On Facebook, the followers for "@POTUS," "@VicePresident" and "@FLOTUS" are being duplicated from their personal Pages — "@JoeBiden," "@KamalaHarris" and "@DrJillBiden."
  • On Instagram, the followers for "@POTUS," "@VP" and "@FLOTUS" are being duplicated from their personal accounts, which are "@joebiden," "@kamalaharris" and "@drbiden."
  • There are new accounts for Vice President Harris' husband Doug Emhoff, which are "@SecondGentleman" on Facebook and "@Secondgentleman" on Instagram.

Between the lines: The accounts that were formerly used by the Trump administration have been renamed "White House 45," "VP45" and "FLOTUS45," and have been archived.

  • The @POTUS Instagram account was not used by the 45th administration, which is why it is not being archived. The Trump administration used President Trump's personal account instead on Instagram.
  • The archived accounts from the 45th administration are being maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration. Those accounts maintain all of their followers.

The big picture: Twitter said last month it would not transfer the followers associated with official accounts, which drew ire from the Biden campaign's digital director.

  • Twitter did not provide a reason publicly for why it wasn't carrying the followers over, as it had during the 2017 transition. A Wall Street Journal report out last month suggests it's in part because the transition of followers from the Obama and Trump administrations experienced technical glitches and user complaints.

What's next: Donald Trump's personal Page continues to be indefinitely banned on Facebook and Instagram.

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