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Obama Is Latest To Join Twitter Age

U.S. President Barack Obama sent his first tweet from his own account on Twitter on May 18, quickly amassing 1 million followers in five hours in what appeared to be record time.

"Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account," Obama tweeted from his @POTUS account.

The acronym is Washington shorthand for president of the United States.

It's not the first time Obama has tweeted. He has occasionally signed tweets from the @WhiteHouse account with his initials, "-bo." But the @POTUS account will feature tweets coming exclusively from him.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton tweeted a welcome. "One question: Does that username stay with the office?" His tweet had the hashtag #askingforafriend.

Obama replied: "The handle comes with the house," he said, meaning Clinton's wife, Hillary, could take it over if she wins the presidential election next year.

"Know anyone interested in @FLOTUS?" Obama asked, referring to the Twitter account now used by first lady Michelle Obama.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP