Joe Biden got 5 million followers in less than 24 hours after the @POTUS account was purged of everyone who followed it under Trump

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Sinéad Baker
·2 min read
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Joe Biden Oval Office
President Joe Biden in the Oval Office after his inauguration on January 20, 2021. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • Joe Biden gained 5 million followers in less than 24 hours after taking over the @POTUS account.

  • Before it had 33 million followers amassed under Presidents Obama and Trump.

  • But Twitter reset the count to zero before handing it over on Wednesday.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Joe Biden gained 4.9 million followers in less than 24 hours after he was inaugurated, after the @POTUS account was purged of all the followers it had under President Donald Trump.

Biden and his team officially took over all of the accounts related to the presidency, including the POTUS account, after he was sworn in on Wednesday.

As of 6.30 a.m. on Thursday, the account had 4.9 million followers. Biden officially became president at 12 p.m. on Wednesday.

Joe Biden twitter
The @POTUS Twitter account early on Thursday morning. Twitter/@POTUS

As Insider's Katie Canales reported, the @POTUS account had about 33 million followers before it passed to President Biden on Wednesday.

The number included the followers gained under Barack Obama, the first president to tweet, and his successor Donald Trump. But Twitter wiped the account's followers, meaning that Biden started with zero followers.

As The Verge noted, Twitter's actions were different to what it did when Trump took over in 2017. Twitter then archived Obama-era tweets while creating new accounts for the Trump administration that retained previous followers.

Twitter has not given an explanation for why it changed its policy.

Read more: Joe Biden is hiring about 4,000 political staffers to work in his administration. Here's how 3 experts say you can boost your chances of getting one of those jobs.

The network instead gave a series of prompts to people who followed Trump-era accounts to tell them they had been archived, and suggesting they follow the new accounts.

The statement continued: "For example, people who follow @WhiteHouse will be notified that the account has been archived as @WhiteHouse45 and given the option to follow the new @WhiteHouse account."

Joe Biden also still has his personal Twitter account, @JoeBiden, which has 25.7 million followers at the time of writing.

Twitter banned Trump's @realDonaldTrump account on January 8 after his supporters stormed the US Capitol, resulting in the death of five people.

Read the original article on Business Insider