It appears that Twitter may have just pushed out President Trump's first tweet (shown above) using the @POTUS account to everyone in America (or everyone on Twitter everywhere?) regardless of whether you followed the account, and it's making many Twitter users very angry.
As you can see from some Twitterers below, the tweet, which went out just after 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time (2:30 p.m. PT) showed up in the feeds of many people by surprise, and they are already pissed and being quick to anger is de rigeur for the Twitterverse anyway. The tweet looks to have prompted a lot of immediate blocks of @POTUS, too.
Also, interestingly, before the @POTUS account changed hands, as SFist noted, it had 19 million followers (or it did a few days ago), which apparently went down to about 14 million as of this morning, before the inauguration. If you look now, it now has just 10.5 million followers. [Update: 40 minutes later it's up to 13.3 million.]
All of President Obama's tweets are now gone from the account, and they've transferred over to the @potus44 account (which has those same 14 million followers he had as of today), and the @POTUS page says that you can also find the Obama archive somewhere on the White House website too, though it's unclear where.
Does Twitter plan on allowing President Trump to push out his messages to all Twitter users in the future via the @POTUS account, or was this a one-time deal? Was this a promoted tweet and was it paid for, or did Twitter just allow it as a favor? Was this just some snafu?
SFist has reached out to Twitter's public relations team to get answers to these questions, and I'll update you when we hear back.
Update: Twitter rep Nick Pacillo replies that Twitter did not push the message out to all American users, though I'm still seeking further clarification because the Twitterers below probably aren't lying. He adds, "All of the administration accounts will retain all of their followers. For example, pre-inauguration, @POTUS had about 14M followers. Post inauguration, both @POTUS44 and @POTUS will retain those followers. If you're seeing a lower number currently on @POTUS, that's because the process of doing so is still ongoing." So, that means that both account are going to be at that 14M number as of today, and you can unfollow as you wish.
I was no longer following @POTUS but its tweet showed up in my timeline anyway. Gross. Blocked.— Pirate Jenny (@thanatophobe) January 20, 2017