President Barack Obama has finally joined Facebook, allowing him to connect directly to the billions of users already using on the social network. Sure, his campaign had a Facebook page, and even White House staff runs one, but it wasn’t until today that the 44th president of the United States had his very own page.
In his first post, Obama uploaded a video of himself, starting out with a friendly, “Hey, everybody,” strolling through his “backyard” where he’s talking about looking at trees, birds, and squirrels. The post itself begins with an excited, “Hello, Facebook! I finally got my very own page,” with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg making the post’s first comment. But he also used this first opportunity to address the environment and his upcoming visit to Paris for climate talks, and talked about the need to preserve national parks, like the White House, for future generations.
Even without his own page until today, Obama has been the most active president in social media, with a Twitter account currently claiming over 65 million followers and a comment on a Humans of New York post that nearly broke the Internet. As the “first president of the social media age,” Obama and the White House have incorporated YouTube, Vine, Instagram, and other platforms in an effort to engage with and relate to the public, particularly the younger generations. While some believe his participation online might “cheapen the power of the presidency,” as noted in the Washington Post, so far the president has successfully navigated social media and “established a standard for how politicians connect with a digitally savvy electorate.”
The newly created Facebook profile went from 46,000 likes to 68,000 within just a couple minutes. And if his past work is any indication of the success his Facebook page might face, it would seem the “dad, husband, and 44th President of the United States” could be on the right path.