You Can Now Text Barack Obama Anything You Want. Here's What You Need to Know
Barack Obama Twitter post.
Barack Obama, as the President of the United States and otherwise, has always been uber cool. But is he cool enough to actually hand out his phone number? The answer is no.
Millions around the world were in for a shock when the former Democratic leader and the 44th president took to social media to give out a contact number to people, trying to keep up with his followers in the modern times. "
"All right, let's try something new. If you’re in the United States, send me a text at 773-365-9687 — I want to hear how you're doing, what's on your mind..." he wrote on social media.
All right, let's try something new. If you’re in the United States, send me a text at 773-365-9687 — I want to hear how you're doing, what's on your mind, and how you're planning on voting this year.I'll be in touch from time to time to share what's on my mind, too. pic.twitter.com/NX91bSqbtG— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 23, 2020
The unexpected move comes merely 40 days before the 2020 Congress elections and thus he added, "..and how you're planning on voting this year. I'll be in touch from time to time to share what's on my mind, too."
So, is this really his phone number, or maybe a personal assistant's? What happens when you dial the number? We'll answer all your questions.
Did Barack Obama really give out his number?
No, he didn't. The number he posted, 773-365-9687, is actually part of a platform named Community. Community is a text based platform which allows you interact with people like Obama directly, cutting out the nuances of social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, where you may tag and tweet to celebrities all you want but the chances of them ever getting back to you is next to negligible.
But Obama clearly believes that communication is a two-way street and hence decided to try out Community, like other celebs including actor Kerry Washington or Ashton Kutcher.
What is Community?
Community is a platform that basically allows you to receive and send texts to large groups of people - groups that you will hand-pick. A tech website named Fast Company explains that the platform provides a "walled garden" of sorts where celebs can bypass haters and trolls and directly interact with their followers and fans. You can choose the groups based on demography and geography.
Community's official website states that the platform has one purpose -- "to help community leaders build real relationships with community members. Using a medium with massive reach, on a channel we all cherish—text."
The site explains that this will allow you to text with celebs like Obama and engage in meaningful conversation the same way you do with your friends and family members. It explains that on social media, most posts are suppressed and exposure is limited owing to algorithms, but Community can apparently help with that.
"In a climate free from bullying and toxicity, leaders can support the people who support them by speaking directly to them—instantly. Here, they aren’t criticized for, or penalized by, the size of their audience, but rather propelled forward by the quality of their interactions," the site further adds.
Do other celebrities use Community too?
In 2019, actor Ashton Kutcher tweeted something very similar to Obama. "Just text me it’s easier. +1 (319) 519-0576," he had tweeted. In fact, when people called him, the number said that Kutcher prefers texting.
Just text me it’s easier. +1 (319) 519-0576— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) July 23, 2019
A few months ago, Jennifer Lopez too asked people to stay in touch with her by contacting her on a specific number. " Stay in touch with me at +1 (305) 690-0379 and look for more special moments like this!!!" she wrote on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
Wish I could have brought all 100 million of you to the @hustlersmovie premiere. I am so lucky for each and every one of you. ❤️❤️❤️ Loved hanging with our giveaway winner, @julissacontreras_19 and her friend Lola!✨ Stay in touch with me at +1 (305) 690-0379 and look for more special moments like this!!!
Does Obama's post have something to do with the US Presidential Elections?
The US Presidential Elections 2020 are around the corner. But of course, campaigning hasn't exactly been easy amid a global pandemic. Obama has been going the extra mile to ensure that US citizens vote, and that they vote for the right people. He has been actively using social media platforms like Twitch, YouTube and Snapchat to get more people to register to vote.
The fact that Community allows people to communicate with Obama directly makes things easier and choosing audiences based on certain parameters, which you decide, makes it politically significant. Obama is apparently the first politician to join Community. Who knows, he may have just kickstarted a trend!