May 18, 2015
Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account.— President Obama (@POTUS) May 18, 2015
The White House verified the President's Twitter handle, which was rapidly gaining followers Monday.
He described himself as "Dad, husband, and 44th President of the United States" and followed his alma maters, his beloved Chicago sports teams, cabinet members, government departments, and key members of the army of White House staff who tweet.
Obama also followed former presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, but is not following @HillaryClinton, his former Secretary of State who is considered the frontrunner for the Democratic race for 2016.
The move to join Twitter comes on the same day Obama will be in our area, Camden, New Jersey, to highlight 'good things happening' in the city and speak about community policing. Obama tweeted a picture of his visit on his new account Monday afternoon.
In Camden today, seeing first-hand how smart policing is making the community safer while building trust. pic.twitter.com/3MiWk43c8g— President Obama (@POTUS) May 18, 2015
It's not the first time Obama has tweeted. He has occasionally signed tweets from the @WhiteHouse account with his initials, "-bo" and also has used @BarackObama, which is an account run by Organizing for Action, Obama's former campaign team.
The @POTUS account will be "a new way for President Obama to engage directly with the American people, with tweets coming exclusively from him," said Alex Wall, a social media strategist with the White House, in a blog post.
And when his time in office is done, @POTUS will be passed on to future presidents, Wall said in a tweet.
Reuters contributed to this report.