United States

The Obama administration is seen as leader in the use of Twitter and other social networks to reach out to new audiences, however neither the @WhiteHouse, nor @BarackObama connect on Twitter with their international counterparts. Obama’s Twitter account accumulates the superlatives: he is the first world leader to join Twitter in March 2007, he is the most followed world leader, follows the most people and is the most listed, but that doesn’t make him the most connected world leader.

Tweets from United States leaders

President of United States Barack Obama

Barack Obama’s Twitter account became famous on 9 October 2009 when he tweeted “Humbled”, a one word reaction to receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. The @BarackObama account is a campaign account managed by his campaign staff and not funded, endorsed or followed by the White House. As the 2012 election campaign heated up Barack Obama became more active on social networks and he now signs his personal tweets: bo. The election victory tweet – “Four more years” with a photo of him hugging his wife – was one of the most retweeted tweets ever with over 800,000 retweets. @BarackObama averages 1,210 retweets per tweet a number which, though impressive, has been declining. Despite the millions of followers the account has entered its “lame-duck period” as BuzzFeed pointed out, not nearly garnering the retweets it enjoyed during the 2012 elections. The account frequently mentions other Twitter users, including @OFA, @SpeakerBoehner, @Obamacare and @VP. Many tweets share quotes from Obama or discuss initiatives he is trying to pursue. The Barack Obama account is unilaterally followed by 239 other world leaders however he only follows three of them, namely @MedvedevRussia, Norway’s @Erna_Solberg and Estonia’s Foreign Minister @KeitPentus.

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Barack Obama

@BarackObama

This account is run by Organizing for Action staff. Tweets from the President are signed -bo.

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Tweets:13,269
Following:643,974
Followers:56,933,515
Joined Twitter: 03/05/2007
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 5.94
Retweets: 7%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.11
Replies/Tweet: 0.00
Tweets retweeted: 93%
Most mentioned @OFA (140), @SpeakerBoehner (22), @obamacare (20), @VP (13), @FLOTUS (9), @EPA (7), @WhiteHouse (7), @voxdotcom (5), @washingtonpost (5), @PathwaysInTech (4).
Average of retweets 1210

First tweet

Presidency of United States The White House

The White House is among the top five most followed world leader accounts with over six million followers. Interestingly the White House does not follow @BarackObama; however since June 2011 the President has been more active on the White House Twitter feed and most tweets on this account reference the president and his statements. The White House Twitter account is fairly active sending out an average of 15 tweets per day with 29% being retweets of other official White House accounts such as @WHLive, @FLOTUS, and @VP Joe Biden. The White House uses Twitter quite creatively and it regularly posts pictures and videos. The account consistently uses hashtags aimed at current initiatives and events. The White House Twitter account mixes serious topics with current events to add humor and appeal to the account. In January 2015, a tweet that received a high number of retweets was a post following the State of the Union address quoting Obama “I have no more campaigns to run. I know because I won both of them.” Since September 2009 the White House also tweets important news in Spanish on the @LaCasaBlanca account. Interestingly, the @WhiteHouse mutually only follows two other world leaders, namely Russian Prime Minister @MedvedevRussiaE and the UK Prime Minister @Number10gov.

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The White House

@WhiteHouse

Follow for the latest from President Obama and his administration. Tweets from the President are signed –bo. Tweets may be archivedwh.gov/privacyun.

Peer connections (as of April 2015)

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Tweets:18,605
Following:196
Followers:5,956,162
Joined Twitter: 04/10/2009
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 14.70
Retweets: 30%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.09
Replies/Tweet: 0.00
Tweets retweeted: 70%
Most mentioned @VP (22), @FLOTUS (14), @UN (11), @FCC (9), @pfeiffer44 (7), @IvyTechCC (6), @BethanyMota (6), @RICNews (6), @americorps (6), @hankgreen (5).
Average of retweets 425

First tweet

Government of United States The Cabinet

Started on 11 September 2013, the @Cabinet account has increased in following by 65% since our last study in 2014. The account is managed by the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs and averages 1.5 tweets per day. There is very little original content; 84% of its tweets are retweets of other Twitter accounts, such as the Department of the @Interior, the @WhiteHouse and the Secretary of @Labor Thomas Perez. One recent post, relevant to current fads, is a photo of the @Surgeon_General using a selfie stick.

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The Cabinet

@Cabinet

The @WhiteHouse Office of Cabinet Affairs. Tweets may be archived. More at wh.gov/privacy

Peer connections (as of April 2015)

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Tweets:829
Following:105
Followers:8,299
Joined Twitter: 09/11/2013
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 1.48
Retweets: 84%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.16
Replies/Tweet: 0.01
Tweets retweeted: 14%
Most mentioned @LaborSec (14), @arneduncan (10), @Cabinet (6), @CommerceSec (5), @DHSgov (4), @Interior (4), @GinaEPA (4), @DeptVetAffairs (3), @Sebelius (3), @SecretaryFoxx (3).
Average of retweets 12

First tweet

Secretary of State of United States John Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry set up his personal Twitter account on 4 June 2008 when he was Senator of Massachusetts and almost five years before heading to Foggy Bottom. On 4 April 2013 he sent his last tweet from his personal account: “Thx for the tweets and for following. W/ my new job, I tweet from @StateDept, signed -JK. Follow for latest!”. But a year later he was allowed to resume his personal Twitter activity: “It only took a year but @StateDept finally let me have my own @Twitter account. #JKTweetsAgain”, he tweeted on 4 February 2014. @JohnKerry is quite engaging, regularly @mentioning his peers including British Foreign Secretary @PHammondMP and French Foreign Minister @LaurentFabius. His tweets are personal and he shares many behind the scenes pictures from trips and meetings. @JohnKerry’s most used hashtags include #Ukraine, #ClimateChange, #isil and #Iraq, all related to current issues. His most retweeted tweet was sent during the 2012 presidential campaign when he lampooned Mitt Romney’s foreign policy knowledge: “Mitt apparently had no binders on foreign policy” but it has been deleted with all tweets sent before 2013. John Kerry is followed by 108 other world leaders and is mutually connected with 43 of them.

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John Kerry

@JohnKerry

Husband, father, grandfather, brother, former Senator, 68th U.S. Secretary of @StateDept

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Tweets:1,113
Following:414
Followers:434,860
Joined Twitter: 06/04/2008
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 0.51
Retweets: 25%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.65
Replies/Tweet: 0.06
Tweets retweeted: 74%
Most mentioned @StateDept (73), @PHammondMP (17), @LaurentFabius (16), @WilliamJHague (11), @UN (9), @thescienceguy (8), @NATO (8), @USAID (7), @JZarif (7), @VP (6).
Average of retweets 179

First tweet

State Department of United States Department of State

To say that the U.S. State Department embraces Twitter diplomacy would be an understatement. @StateDept was the first official Twitter account for a government institution ever and the first tweet was sent on 23 October 2007. The State Department tweets in Arabic, Chinese, French, Hindi, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian and Urdu and maintains Twitter lists with its 121 embassies and missions on Twitter. The account is fairly active and averages 14 tweets per day with 50% of these tweets being retweetsmainly of @JohnKerry, the @WhiteHouse, the National Security Council (@NSCPress) and the US Ambassador to the UN @AmbassadorPower. The most frequently used hashtag are #ebola, #Ukraine and #ClimateChange. Direct engagement happens through frequent Twitter Q&As. The State Department is unilaterally followed by 137 other world leaders and mutually follows 45 including Iran’s President @HassanRouhani and Foreign Minister @JZarif, timidly re-establishing diplomatic relations between the United States and Iran via Twitter.

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Department of State

@StateDept

Welcome to the official U.S. Department of State Twitter account! Secretary Kerry tweets from @JohnKerry.

Tweet analytics (as of April 2015)

Tweets:36,365
Following:404
Followers:1,289,779
Joined Twitter: 10/23/2007
Language: English
Status: Active
Tweets/day: 13.98
Retweets: 50%
Mentions/Tweet: 0.46
Replies/Tweet: 0.00
Tweets retweeted: 50%
Most mentioned @JohnKerry (628), @statedeptspox (55), @StateDept (54), @WhiteHouse (47), @StateDeptLive (34), @USAID (34), @UN (25), @VP (19), @PHammondMP (13), @hhigginbottom (13).
Average of retweets 69

First tweet