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Barack Obama says hello to Twitter

US president Barack Obama has finally joined Twitter.

For years, White House officials have used Twitter to communicate White House policy and occasional personal observations.

But Mr Obama himself stayed out of the social media fray, until now.

With a frugal 91-character message - 49 short of the maximum permitted - Mr Obama declared: "Hello, Twitter! It's Barack. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account."

The White House said the tweets on the @POTUS account will come exclusively from the president.

The move is the latest by a White House particularly attuned to social media and new technology.

But Twitter, with its ability to be anonymously interactive, is a new forum for the president, even one who carries his own BlackBerry.

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