Ever wanted to "check in" with President Barack Obama? The White House announced on Monday that it had set up its first-ever account on Foursquare, the location-based social networking site.
"[N]ow you’ll be able to discover 'tips' from the White House featuring the places President Obama has visited, what he did there, plus historical information and more," the White House wrote in a blog post announcing the news. Obama already has accounts with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
The White House Foursquare account went live the same day that Obama kicked off a three-day bus tour of the Midwest, and the account makes use of Foursquare's recently unveiled "lists" feature.
"You can follow the President on the road through Cannon Falls, Minnesota; Decorah and Peosta, Iowa; and Atkinson and Alpha, Illinois," the White House said. "Through the new White House page on Foursquare, you can keep up with the President's tour and check-in to let your friends know you're there."
National Journal reports that the White House account is a boon for Foursquare, which counts about 10 million users, compared to the 200 million people who use Twitter and 750 million on Facebook. On Wednesday, Foursquare had a "Follow the President" banner featured prominently on its homepage, and the White House account already had 21,000 followers.
“We’re obviously overjoyed,” Foursquare spokesman Jon Steinback told Politico on Tuesday. “He brings a massive online following,”
According to Politico, several other politicians are already using Foursquare, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Foreign Policy's Josh Rogin points out that the actual White House in Washington D.C. has been a Foursquare location for some time, and that the White House's "mayor" — Foursquare-speak for the person who has checked in the most at a given location — isn't Obama but Aya Maher, a staff reporter with the Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun.
Maher claims she's been mayor of the White House for over a year.
"It gives me a lot of street cred among my social-media-savvy friends, but sadly, has had no other benefits," she said. "I do get a lot of random tourists wanting to be my friend."