President Obama finally has an official Facebook account

Steven Loeb · November 9, 2015 · Short URL:

Looking at all of the major 2016 candidates, Facebook still provides much wider reach than Twitter

Social media has been around a while now. It makes me feel old to remember that I started colege a couple of months before Facebook went wide, and that was 11 years ago.

Yet, the most powerful office in the land has been quite slow to adopt these networks. Maybe out of fear, or maybe they didn't really understand them. For whatever reason, it's still a big deal when the President joins social media.

So, six months after he first joined Twitter, the President finally has his own official Facebook page! Wait, come back! You can go follow him afer you finished reading my article!

"Hello, Facebook! I finally got my very own page. I hope you’ll think of this as a place where we can have real conversations about the most important issues facing our country – a place where you can hear directly from me, and share your own thoughts and stories," the President (or, more likely, his people) wrote.

The President used his first post to put up a video showing him walking around the White House grounds in an effort to educate people about climate change.

"I’m kicking it off by inviting you to take a walk with me in my backyard – something I try to do at the end of the day before I head in for dinner. I say this often, but that’s because it’s always at the front of my mind: We’ve got to preserve this beautiful planet of ours for our kids and grandkids. And that means taking serious steps to address climate change once and for all," he said.

"Now, we've made a lot of progress to cut carbon pollution here at home, and we're leading the world to take action as well. But we’ve got to do more. In a few weeks, I’m heading to Paris to meet with world leaders about a global agreement to meet this challenge."

Gotta love that the President uses his first official Facebook post to piss off his political rivals. The man has around a year left in office, and he is clearly just going to do what he wants from now on.

The President already has nearly 148,000 followers (that number if growing fast: 10 minutes ago it was 111,000) but that still doesn't come close to what he got when he joined Twitter, which was over one million followers in just hours. It is now followed by five million people.

This begs the question: Facebook may have more than four times the number of monthly active users as Twitter, 1.55 billion to 320 million, but how does it stack for for elected officials?

The two biggest stars on social media are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Trump's Twitter account (@realDonaldTrump) has 4.79 million Twitter followers, and he has 4.2 million followers on Facebook. He comes much closer than Clinton to matching those numbers; she (@HillaryClinton) has 4.65 million Twitter followers, but only 1.7 million followrs on Facebook.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) has only 937,000 followers on Twitter but beats that on Facebook with 1.9 million followers.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) who has 537,000 followers on Twitter, has 1.5 million on Facebook. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) who has 711,000 Twitter followers, has over 2 million on Facebook. They are both trounced by Florida Senator Marco Rubio (@marcorubio), who has 841,000 followers. 

Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson), a former neurosurgeon and recent surger in the polls, has only 943,000 Twitter followers. On Facebook it is a whopping 4.6 million

Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina (@CarlyFiorina) has 614,000 Twitter followers. Her Facebook is pretty paltry, though, with only 511,000 followers.

Did you notic that, in almost ever case, except for the two female candidates in the race (make of that what you will) every single candidate has more reach, and followers, on Facebook than they do on Twitter.

For a long time the narrative was that Twitter was the network where users could more easily feel like they were connecting with important people. Maybe that is still true; you're more likely to actually engage with a famous person on Twitter. But in terms of the other side, of famous people reaching a larger audience, it looks like Facebook is the way to go.

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