November 22, 2023
On Monday, November 19, the White House launched accounts on Meta’s Threads service for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris—gaining a sizable following on an app that competes with Elon Musk’s X, reports CNBC.
At the same time, accounts on Threads were established for the first lady and second gentleman, as well as for the White House itself. Biden’s account racked up 2 million followers within an hour of its debut.
Here’s what Biden said in his first post on Threads:
“Folks, it’s President Biden. You’re hearing from me today from a new platform, but my message to you hasn’t changed: Right now, we face an inflection point – one of those challenging moments in history where the decisions we make today will determine decades to come. But I don’t see a dark, dismal, divided future for America. I see an America about to take off. I’ll continue doing everything in my power to meet this moment – and keep you posted along the way.”
The Threads push comes after Musk last week called an antisemitic conspiracy theory “the actual truth” on X to his 163 million listed followers. He also said some “Jewish communities” promote “anti-white” messaging and views—calling out the Anti-Defamation League and minorities.
White House officials repeatedly rebuked Musk for what they called “anti-semitic rhetoric” on X over the last week.
“This past week, there were hundreds of bogus media stories claiming that I am antisemitic,” he wrote on X. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Meta first launched Threads in July as a to rival X, formerly Twitter, after Musk made sweeping changes to the app that were widely criticized. Over 30 million people signed up on Threads within hours of its debut. By the middle of July, the new platform had over 100 million signups.
While Adam Mosseri, the head of Meta’s Instagram service, previously said Threads wouldn’t prioritize news and political discourse, many former Twitter users have flocked to the app to share and stay up to date on news.
The White House said in a statement to CNBC that the launch of the new Threads accounts “has been in process for several weeks.
“We are committed to meeting people where they are,” the statement said. “Since the beginning of the administration we’ve used traditional media, digital media, SMS programs, and other innovative ways to reach Americans as they communicate today.”
Research contact: @CNBC