PM Lee hijacking White House Instagram account & vice versa highlights digital diplomacy

White House becomes PM Lee for a day.

Martino Tan | August 03, 2016, 05:40 PM

Digital diplomacy! White House Instagram Invasion!

These are some of the remarks expressed online as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong exchanged Instagram accounts with the White House (WH) for one day during his official visit to the United States (July 31 to Aug. 5, 2016).

In total, PM Lee published five IG posts, with one photo taken by him personally.

The WH shared three selfies, since they were photos of the WH, featuring its preparations for the state dinner.

Below are the eight posts, starting with PM's posts on WH IG:

1st Post: PM in pink, holding an iPad.

Hello everyone, Lee Hsien Loong (@leehsienloong) here—Singapore’s Prime Minister. I’m in DC on an official visit. We’ll be meeting President Obama and several of your Cabinet members. We are also deeply honoured to be invited to a State Dinner in the White House. The US and Singapore enjoy a close and longstanding friendship. We cooperate in many areas, from defense to trade. Stay tuned today as the White House and I do a mutual takeover of our Instagram accounts! —LHL #SGUS50

A photo posted by The White House (@whitehouse) on

2nd Post: PM's visit to the Arlington National Cemetery, a military cemetery that honours the dead of the US' conflicts. 

Snapped this photo of Kate Kelley (Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery), Major General Bradley Becker, Sherri Becker, and Ambassador Peter Selfridge (the Chief of Protocol) after paying my respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We in Singapore honor the valor and sacrifices of US soldiers, and are grateful for their role in keeping the Asia Pacific, and the world, stable and peaceful. —LHL #SGUS50

A photo posted by The White House (@whitehouse) on

3rd Post: PM greeting the Americans at the White House lawn.

Thank you America for the warm welcome this morning! It is a big honor for us to celebrate how far our peoples have come together. When I travel abroad, I try to meet Singaporeans who are living there. In the US, I have encountered our citizens all over the country. They are living, working or studying here, in big cities and small towns, contributing to their communities. It’s a good reminder that our ties are not just about government or company business, but thrive in the hearts and souls of our people. —LHL #SGUS50

A photo posted by The White House (@whitehouse) on

4th Post: The most popular post among the five, featuring many happy faces except the baby's.

It was fun to meet the crowd at the Arrival Ceremony this morning. Lots of happy faces! :) (Photo by me) —LHL

A photo posted by The White House (@whitehouse) on

5th Post: PM's joint Press Conference with Obama.

Over 50 years of diplomatic ties, Singapore and the United States have developed strong partnerships in many areas—defense, trade, education, R&D. Underpinning it all is our close people-to-people ties, and the warm friendship between our peoples. So it’s fitting to mark our 50th year of ties with a scholarship for US and Singapore students to do summer exchange programs in each other’s countries. We have come far together—may our relationship grow from strength to strength over the next 50 years, and beyond. —LHL #SGUS50

A photo posted by The White House (@whitehouse) on

On the other hand, the White House seems to like taking photos of itself. 

But it must have felt strange that it is receiving fewer likes as a human being (WH's 2.5 million followers vs PM Lee's 239k followers).

Post 1: PM Lee's IG account receives an instant boost with more than 12k likes.

Hello Singapore! It's the @WhiteHouse taking over Prime Minister @LeeHsienLoong's Instagram. Your Prime Minister took over our account this morning to give you an inside look as he arrived in the U.S., and now we're taking over his account to show you how we're preparing for the 13th State Dinner or Official Visit of the Obama Administration.

A photo posted by Lee Hsien Loong (@leehsienloong) on

Post 2: Food. Would have been fun if WH hastag #foodporn.

Inside the White House kitchen, our chefs are getting ready to give Prime Minister Lee and Mrs. Lee a dinner that celebrates summer food from across the United States. The prepared meal includes blue crab from Maryland, Asian yams grown in California, and even heirloom tomatoes from our own @WHKitchenGarden here on the South Lawn. —@WhiteHouse

A photo posted by Lee Hsien Loong (@leehsienloong) on

Post 3: Tables and cutlery

Upstairs in the White House State Dining Room, we're setting the tables and the decorations to get ready for the State Dinner. The color yellow symbolizes the friendship between the United States and Singapore. And we're standing up the stage for a performance tonight by Chrisette Michele, a Grammy Award Winning singer and songwriter from New York. —@WhiteHouse

A photo posted by Lee Hsien Loong (@leehsienloong) on


And so digital diplomacy for a day concluded with both accounts not following each other.

Source: LHL Instagram Source: LHL Instagram

Source: White House IG Source: White House IG (The 27 accounts were Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, US Departments and official photographers).

The end.


Top photo from Lee Hsien Loong Instagram

If you like what you read, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates.