The Obama Administration's Most Defining Moments On Social Media

Photo: via @BarackObama.
In preparation for tonight's farewell address, I spent the past few days scrolling through the Obama administration's archives. Instead of going through National Archives, as I might have done for past presidents, I went straight to @POTUS, @FLOTUS, @VP, @BarackObama, and @WhiteHouse.

As the president whose term coincided with the rise of Instagram, Snapchat, and still relatively young Twitter, Obama had the unique challenge of defining how he spoke to the nation online. He wasn't always posting to the sites personally — he wasn't given his own Twitter account until May 2015 — but all of his administration's accounts were unified under his values. As I went through two terms worth of tweets, Instagrams, and Snapchats, I was struck by three qualities that never wavered: A sense of humor, respect for women, and love, in all its forms.

In 10 days, these accounts will be wiped clean. The official handles (and their followers) will be owned by the Trump administration and we'll see what is sure to be a very different era of presidential leadership online. Posts from Obama will live on in archives, but it's worth taking a moment to look back on the precedent he established.

Ahead, 21 of the most iconic moments of Obama's social media legacy. Think we missed any? Leave a comment and share your favorites.
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1 of 22
Photo: via @BarackObama.
Ballots were cast and #YesWeCan became a reality in November 2008.
2 of 22
Photo: via @BarackObama.
Four years later, the hug that evoked smiles around the nation.
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3 of 22
Photo: via @BarackObama.
The president's unifying message of gratitude after he was elected to a second term.
4 of 22
Photo: via @BarackObama.
A subdued but meaningful moment of celebration.
5 of 22
Photo: via @BarackObama.
A motivational message following the Inauguration.
6 of 22
Photo: via @BarackObama.
Obama had many iconic expressions of his own, but this one, of gymnast McKayla Maroney's trademark "not impressed" look was one of the best.
7 of 22
Photo: via @BarackObama.
A quiet recollection of a defining moment in history.
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8 of 22
Photo: via @BarackObama.
Just a president and vice president running together, inspiring some of the greatest memes of our time.
9 of 22
Photo: via @POTUS.
Obama greeted the Twittersphere from his own official Twitter account, a presidential first.
10 of 22
Photo: via @POTUS.
DOMA was struck down, rainbow flags were raised, and, at last, love won.
11 of 22
Photo: via @POTUS.
A less serious, but still important presidential ruling on guacamole. Seriously, The New York Times, peas? Come now.
12 of 22
Photo: via @WhiteHouse.
Humor has been one of the administration's greatest assets. See Exhibit A, at right.
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13 of 22
Photo: via @WhiteHouse.
Michelle Obama brought her personality and emoji game to Snapchat, a first for a First Lady.
14 of 22
Photo: via @WhiteHouse.
The caption said it all when Obama took a selfie with Justin Trudeau, the prime minister who has been called "the selfie king of Canada."
15 of 22
Photo: via @BarackObama.
Just one of the many times that President Obama celebrated his love for the first lady on social media.
16 of 22
Photo: via @KensingtonRoyal.
The little prince stayed up past his bedtime to meet the president. And that robe!
17 of 22
Photo: via @BarackObama.
One year later, Obama celebrated the gains we've made but acknowledged that there is more to be done.
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18 of 22
Photo: via @POTUS.
Obama said what we were all thinking. Mic. Drop.
19 of 22
Photo: via @VP.
Speaking of love...Vice President Biden married two of his White House staffers.
20 of 22
Photo: via @WhiteHouse.
When Ellen DeGeneres cries tears of joy, we all cry tears of joy.
21 of 22
Photo: via @POTUS.
Throughout his campaigns and years in office, Obama always championed women's rights at work, at home, and everywhere in between.
22 of 22
Photo: via @BarackObama.
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