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Obama The First First Social Media President

Photo by Pete Souza

One of the main communication tools employed by Obama and his team was social media. Renfree writes that Obama’s campaign leading up to the 2008 election saw an emergency of a new trend in political communications. He argued that during this campaign, Americans witnessed a first of its kind, one which was drenched in social media. Even after taking office, Obama kept true to his strategy, it can be said that it even became stronger after winning the 2008 election, he kept and maintained a robust social media presence on popular applications such as YouTube and Twitter through which he maintained his communication with his people. . This was perfectly illustrated by his decision to announce his endorsement of Hilary Clinton over You Tube, in a video that was watched by over 2.5 million viewers.

America and the world watches on waiting for the finally tally. Photo by Benjamin Lehman from Pexels

Renfree, writes that having taken office, Obama hired a highly experienced social media head called Jason Goldman who headed a 20-man team responsible for first keeping up with recent social trends as well creating content and communicating it to the public in a manner that depicts the persona of the president. The use of social media by Obama has since influenced the likes of Hillary Clinton, and most notably Donald J Trump, however, despite being the first social media president and with the influence that his campaign has had, the campaigns of today although they use social media, they are structured differently.While characterizing Obama as “Too Good at Social Media” Bogost writes for The Atlantic in 2017 as Obama left office and claims that whereas many may consider Obama as the “first social-media president” this characterization is “true and misleading”, he argues that whereas he might have been the first president to appear prominently on social media, the same would have been true for any other president as some of those apps did not exist before he came to office. Bogost analogically compares Obama to John F. Kennedy, seeing as many talk about JFK as being the first TV president, despite the fact that he was not the first president to appear on television, he was the first president to make use of it in the manner he did, Bogost however argues that although it could have been any other president to be the first social media president, there is no guarantee that they would be as good at it as Obama was.

As Obama left office, his influence remained, in fact, the white house created a transitioning process, through which the social media activities of the Obama era were to be archived for purposes of prosperity and handing over to the next president, the idea was to allow the white house to share its social media content with the public, the idea was to create “ways to archive this content and make it both useful and available for years to come”. (Bogost)

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