An App of the Year doesn't deserve the title until POTUS joins the fray. President Barack Obama, arguably the first Technophile in Chief, joined picture sharing social network Instagram the night of the Iowa Caucuses. The move signals Obama's continued reliance on social media to connect with younger voters who were integral in his 2008 electoral victory.
While caucus-goers in Iowa were mulling which Republican to jump behind, Obama held a video-linked town hall session, posting a behind-the-scenes picture of the event on his newly-minted barackobama Instagram account.
We look forward to seeing how President Obama uses Instagram to give folks a visual sense of what happens in the everyday life of the President of the United States, the company's CEO Kevyn Systrom posted on its blog. Instagram is owned by San Francisco-based startup Burbn, which raised $500,000 in 2010 from Andreesen Horowitz and Baseline Ventures.
The account is part of Obama's 2012 campaign, and will likely be manned by his staff. The President has also asked supporters share their photos from the campaign with the #obama2012 tag.
The President's post was mostly greeted with open arms, with some users lamenting the President's aversion to following anyone on the network.
Obama has no time to follow us back I'm sher [sic] he has the country to run I think it's going to be cool to see everything we don't very exciting, wrote user geryes420.
The artsy app has become the domain of photo lovers who can snap pics, run them through a set of edits and share them on the fly. It has quickly become the domain of artsy hipster chic, with various filters being applied to otherwise mundane photos of flower pots and Volkswagen Beetles.
The President himself is a Blackberry user, so the likelihood of his posting with the iPhone app remains slim -- unless he swipes a staffer's iPhone and snaps a quick shot.
The President -- or at least his staff -- have taken to social networking norms rather easily, touting Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Foursquare and Flickr accounts to date. As of writing, the President had 18,186 followers on Instagram. His potential opponents? Zero. Given social media's omnipresence on the campaign trail, that may soon change.