Bill Clinton joins Twitter; gets 400,000 followers within 24 hrs
Washington: Former US President Bill Clinton has joined Twitter and attracted more than 400,000 followers within 24 hours on the social network.
Clinton, 66, posted his first tweet shortly before midnight Wednesday after US comedian Stephen Colbert told him he had established an official account for him April 9 during an interview on his popular Comedy Central television program, "The Colbert Report".
"Excited to join @ChelseaClinton and my good friend @StephenAtHome on Twitter!" tweeted the ex-president on his account @billclinton.
Clinton also posted another tweet reminding people of World Malaria Day and, on Thursday, he sent another Twitter message congratulating former president George W. Bush, who succeeded him in 2001, on the official opening of the latter's presidential library in Dallas, Texas.
In Thursday's tweet, Clinton said he was proud to be in Dallas for the library's official opening with his wife Hillary, the former secretary of state under President Barack Obama, and he also posted a photo in which Obama and the four living ex-presidents appear.
In a light-hearted exchange during Colbert's TV show, Clinton initially appeared sceptical about the usefulness of having the Twitter account that the comedian said he had "taken the liberty" of setting up for him.
"What if you tweet and nobody tweets back? There's nothing worse than a friendless tweeter," said Clinton.
Colbert, well-known for his mordant sense of humor, said that, because more obvious handles were already taken, he had originally set up Clinton's Twitter account using the handle @PrezBillyJeff - a play on Clinton's first and middle names, William Jefferson - but this was later merged with the ex-president's Twitter feed @billclinton.
Since he posted his first tweet Wednesday night, Clinton has reportedly garnered a total of 401,572 followers but, for the moment, he is only following eight people, among them Colbert and several people and organizations linked to the former president's private foundation.