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Democrat Joe Biden was sworn in as the United States of America's 46th president on Jan. 20, 2021. This series, started before his inauguration, covers the efforts of Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to build their administration.

On Inauguration Day, Transfer Of Power Includes Handover Of Twitter Accounts

Kamala Harris celebrates with Joe Biden after being sworn in as vice president.
Tasos Katopodis
POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Kamala Harris celebrates with Joe Biden after being sworn in as vice president.

After President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office, they inherited two other very important titles: @POTUS and @VP.

That's because Wednesday's transfer of power included the transition of official administration Twitter accounts.

Members of the Biden-Harris administration are assuming ownership of a number of institutional accounts, including: @WhiteHouse, @FLOTUS for first Lady Jill Biden and @PressSec for the incoming White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki. Twitter also created a new account for the vice president's husband, Doug Emhoff: @SecondGentleman.

"People on Twitter will be able to watch the transition of power take place in real-time as accounts for the White House, President, Vice President, First Lady and White House Press Secretary inherit their new institutional usernames," the company said in a press release.

The new accounts will not automatically retain followers from the prior administration, Twitter said.

Detailing the process, Twitter said it first transferred the previous institutional accounts to the National Archives and Records Administration, where their posts and account histories will remain publicly available. The Trump administration's @POTUS account will be publicly archived as @POTUS45. Trump himself tweeted mostly from his personal account, @realDonaldTrump, which was banned from the platform following the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Minutes after being sworn in, Biden posted his first tweet from the @POTUS account, pledging to get to work immediately to address the many challenges facing the country.

Biden had previously announced he plans to sign 17 executive actions, spanning topics from immigration to mask-wearing, on his first day in office.

Harris also tweeted from the @VP account just minutes after noon: "Ready to serve."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rachel Treisman (she/her) is a writer and editor for the Morning Edition live blog, which she helped launch in early 2021.