Donald Trump takes control of @POTUS Twitter handle

President Donald Trump and Melania Trump walk back after escorting former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama to Marine One, Jan 20, 2017.
President Donald Trump and Melania Trump walk back after escorting former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama to Marine One, Jan 20, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Donald Trump took over on Friday (Jan 20) as the 45th US president and in doing so inherited the White House Twitter account from outgoing leader Barack Obama.

In the first "social media transition" at the White House, Trump became the owner of the Twitter handle @POTUS, which represents the president of the United States.

The transition on Twitter got off to a bumpy start, with an image from Obama's 2009 inauguration briefly on the account, before being fixed minutes later.

PRESIDENT TRUMP'S FIRST TWEET:

The White House last year indicated it would hand over to Obama's successor control of the account and other social media platforms which were launched during Obama's eight-year tenure.

Obama, meanwhile, assumed a new Twitter handle @POTUS44, keeping some 13.9 million followers and his archived tweets in the shift.

Incoming first lady Melania Trump took over the @FLOTUS handle and Michelle Obama shifted to @FLOTUS44.

The accounts of both the president and first lady started with a clean slate with no tweets from their predecessors.

Trump quickly garnered some 4.3 million followers for the new Twitter handle in the first hour. But he continued tweeting from his old @realDonaldTrump account, which has more than 20 million followers.

"The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer," Trump said in one of his tweets Friday.

"From this moment on, it's going to be #AmericaFirst."

It was not immediately clear how Trump was managing his account or if his staff were tweeting for him.

Some reports said Trump agreed to trade his smartphone this week for a new device with security enhanced by the Secret Service. Obama used a device which lacked many online functions due to security concerns.