The message amassed almost 50,000 re-tweets in under an hour, and the account gained more than 730,000 followers in less than three hours–showing that the president may be late to the game, but he’s already winning.

His bio describes him as a “Dad, husband, and 44th President of the United States.”

The account was launched as a new way for the president to directly engage with the public, the White House says. ”President Obama is committed to making his Administration the most open and participatory in history, and @POTUS will give Americans a new venue to engage on the issues that matter most to them.”

He has occasionally tweeted before from the @BarackObama account, signing the messages “-bo.” But that account, which has nearly 60 million followers, actually is run by the nonprofit group Organizing for Action, which has ties to one of the major grassroots efforts behind the president’s 2012 campaign.

The president so far follows 65 accounts, including his wife, alma maters Columbia University, Harvard University, and Occidental College, as well as his Chicago hometown sports teams, a smattering of government agencies, and various members of his administration.

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