Reporters write their stories on their computers in the gallery as U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 20, 2015.
Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

White House shows digital chops with tech-savvy SOTU

President Obama on Tuesday not only boasted that the state of our union is strong – he showed that it’s quite digitally savvy, too.

First, the hashtag #YesWeTan went viral after the White House posted a photo of the commander-in-chief’s tan suit on Instagram. “President Obama’s suiting up for the big speech,” the White House wrote an hour before the address, along with a link to watch it, and using the hashtag #YesWeTan. The hashtag has since been tweeted more than 5,300 times and was an apparent reference to a suit he wore that was criticized back in August.

Then, for the first time, the White House also posted the transcript of the commander-in-chief’s remarks on Medium, the trendy, online publishing platform founded by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. The Obama administration first joined Medium back in August – seemingly an effort to reach millennial techies.

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During his actual State of the Union speech, Obama mentioned Instagram while touting America’s space program. “Last month, we launched a new spacecraft as part of a re-energized space program that will send American astronauts to Mars, Obama said. “In two months, to prepare us for those missions, Scott Kelly will begin a year-long stay in space. Good luck, captain – and make sure to Instagram it,” he said, speaking to the brother of Mark Kelly, who is also an astronaut and husband to former Democratic Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona.

In recent weeks, the Obama administration has used several social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Medium and Vine to push its proposals,  like making college more affordable, immigration reform and net neutrality.

On Jan. 13, the White House had another first when Obama used Upworthy – a website for viral content – to preview his plans to expand broadband access.

Barack Obama and State of the Union

White House shows digital chops with tech-savvy SOTU