US president Barack Obama has joined Twitter with his own account, after what he said was six years of waiting.
The @Potus account is live now and the president is already posting tweets. His first was introductory and is the first of many, according to the White House blog.
Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account.— President Obama (@POTUS) May 18, 2015
"The @Potus Twitter account will serve as a new way for president Obama to engage directly with the American people, with tweets coming exclusively from him," said the blog.
"President Obama is committed to making his administration the most open and participatory in history, and @Potus will give Americans a new venue to engage on the issues that matter most to them."
The image shared by the White House shows Obama tweeting from an iPhone.
Obama has quickly taken to the service and is already following 65 accounts. These are mostly political in nature, and include his wife, @flotus, his entourage, @thewhitehouse, and former president Bill Clinton.
Obama's follower count is currently at just over 1.6 million. It is likely that the official Twitter use is roundly backed.
The White House hired senior staffers from firms including Twitter and Google last year, placing them in CTO and legal positions. Alexander Macgillivray, previously general counsel and head of public policy at Twitter, took on the deputy CTO role.
Obama treads a difficult internet path, however, and his administration has been criticised over PRISM and the Edward Snowden revelations.
The president has asked for more insight into the workings of technology companies and the communications of their users, but does back net neutrality and openness.
"I want more Americans succeeding in our digital world," he said in January. "It's why I've come out so strongly and publicly for net neutrality, for an open and free internet, because we have to preserve one of the greatest engines for creativity and innovation in human history."
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