The Digital Transition: How the Presidential Transition Works in the Social Media Age   ◆

President Obama’s administration has created a massive digital footprint, from and We The People to @whitehouse and @POTUS.

The entire thing, all of it, every bit of content on every social media handle and website, will all be preserved and archived, and the accounts themselves turned over to the incoming president:

On Twitter, for example, the handle @POTUS will be made available to the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017. The account will retain its more than 11 million followers, but start with no tweets on the timeline. @POTUS44, a newly created handle maintained by NARA, will contain all of President Obama’s tweets and will be accessible to the public on Twitter as an archive of President Obama’s use of the account.

Other accounts being preserved and transitioned include @WhiteHouse, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, and @VP.

What’s truly remarkable though:

In addition to the steps that the White House and [National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)] are taking, we want to open up this process to the American people. Specifically, by the end of this Administration, we’re committed to publicly sharing our social media content in an easily accessible and comprehensive way (e.g., zip files to download). In the interim, we’re inviting the American public – from students and data engineers, to artists and researchers – to come up with creative ways to archive this content and make it both useful and available for years to come. From Twitter bots and art projects to printed books and query tools, we’re open to it all. The White House will make our social media data available early to people who are interested in building something for the public.

So cool.