7 Ways the White House Is Preserving President Obama’s Social Accounts

Giphy, Twitter bots and troves of archives

Barack Obama has famously been the country's first social media president. Notably, his administration has used Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat as communication platforms. Now, with only two weeks left until President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, the White House has revealed how it plans to archive Obama's social media legacy.

In October, the White House started asking for proposals about how Obama's accounts could be creatively stored once the White House's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts are wiped clean for Trump's administration. In a blog post today, the White House outlined seven projects aimed at archiving Obama's posts and social data.

And if you've ever wanted to have your own personal collection of White House posts, now is your chance to get them. The White House has created Dropbox files containing its Twitter, Facebook and Vine posts consumers can download on their own.

1. Giphy

The GIF search engine launched an Obama-dedicated page that catalogs all of the looping videos and Vines the White House has created over the past eight years.

Giphy's editorial team will also add GIFs to the page that its staff has created.


2. ArchiveSocial

The social media archiving platform created an open-source site that collects more than 250,000 posts from 100 White House accounts, including the @POTUS Twitter account, first lady Michelle Obama's Instagram page and the White House's official Facebook page.

Consumers can search for specific posts on the site by date, platform or keywords.

3. Twitter bot

Portland, Ore.-based Feel Train built a Twitter bot for the White House that will spit out archived tweets in real time for the next eight years. The bot is teed up to start tweeting on May 1, the same day President Obama sent his first tweet in 2009.

4. Rhizome

Rhizome, a digital art organization, is piecing together a collection of multimedia essays that explain internet culture during Obama's years in office. Remember "Thanks Obama?" How about Michelle Obama's "Turnip for What" Vine that promoted childhood obesity program Let's Move?

5. MIT Media Lab

Electome, which is part of the MIT Media Lab, is working with programmer Derek Lieu to create a set of interactive tools showing the topics the White House talked about most and how the public responded.

For example, 40 percent of @FLOTUS' tweets were about veterans, while 20 percent of @POTUS' tweets focused on gun issues.

6. College research

Students in Amelia Acker's graduate seminar at the University of Texas-Austin plan to use the White House's social stats in their final projects. At New York University, fellows in the interactive telecommunications program are creating a hackathon on Jan. 6 called Obamathon that's focused on creating new types of archived projects.

7. Internet archive

The nonprofit Internet Archive has created a comprehensive package of eight years' worth of social data the public can download from its website and is also hosting a hackathon this weekend. Through the company's website, people can access data from White House websites, PowerPoints and transcripts in addition to social media posts.

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