Early this morning, the White House announced that it had come to Snapchat. The Verge reports that you can find the Snapchat account at the username whitehouse. There’s no news yet on who is actually running the account, although a writer at the Verge seems to think it’s President Obama himself.
We can only hope.
The first picture sent out was this one early this morning. Pictured is one of the most iconic rooms in America, the Oval Office — with a bunch of apples! The account was made just one day before the President’s annual State of the Union address, which takes place at 9 p.m. ET on January 12, 2016.
WhiteHouse.gov released a few words about their intentions with Snapchat and how it fits in with their overall strategy.
“At the White House, our digital strategy centers around meeting people where they are. This decentralized approach, in response to the proliferation of social media, aims to provide the American people with a multitude of ways to engage with their government. Recently, we launched the @POTUS account on Twitter and President Obama’s page on Facebook. Today, we’re excited to announce that this push is continuing, with the debut of the White House’s Official Story on Snapchat.”
It’s easy to see why the White House would use such a popular app to connect with Americans every day.
They continued, “There are over 100 million daily active Snapchat users, and over 60 percent of American smartphone users between the ages of 13 and 34 use the platform. In light of the number of Americans who use the service to consume news and share with their friends, the White House is joining Snapchat to engage this broad cross-section of the population in new and creative ways.”
The account’s main goal is to give Americans an inside look into the making of the State of the Union address.
“Tomorrow, our Official Story will take you behind the scenes of the White House’s State of the Union preparations, with footage and angles you won’t find anywhere else.”
Obama’s social media presence has always been a constant theme, from when he was campaigning for president across America to right now. His Facebook page has over 1.4 million likes, and his Twitter account has 68.3 million followers.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 11, 2016
Tomorrow, President Obama will give his last State of the Union address. It marks the end of his eight years as the president and the dawning of a new era in American politics. The State of the Union is an American tradition that goes back all the way to our nation’s founding.
“Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution tells us this: The President ‘shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union,'” writes Jason Goldman, the chief digital officer of the White House.
“You’ll notice that exactly how the President is supposed to share the State of the Union (SOTU) is left unspecified. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson decided that speeches were too ‘inconvenient’ and redolent of the monarchy, so he started sending reports instead.”
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 11, 2016
Until the early 1900s, the State of the Union was sent as a report.
“It was Woodrow Wilson in 1913 who once again directly addressed Congress in person. And ten years later, Calvin Coolidge’s voice reverberated through living rooms across the country as the address was broadcast on radio for the first time. Looking at other SOTU firsts, we see the evolution of media in the 20th Century,” Jason continues.
Tomorrow night, President Obama will give the State of the Union the old fashioned way, and I’m certain millions of Americans will be tuning in for the president’s last speech.
[Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]