Well, this is certainly the icing on the cake for the best week of the Obama presidency. For the first time in 40 years, visitors to the White House will be allowed to document their visit with the camera of their choice, and for the first time ever, visitors can immediately upload those photos to social media. Selfies with Bo!
Earlier today, Michelle Obama made a dramatic announcement via Instagram, where she tears up the sign barring photos that used to greet visitors (I’ve watched this about 400 times and will probably keep it looping in the background all day):
But before you get too excited, let’s read the fine print:
What you can do: Guests are allowed to bring phones and compact still cameras with a lens no longer than three inches. Photographers may not interfere with the enjoyment of other guests on the tour.
What you cannot do: White House visitors will not be allowed to take video or bring a tripod of any sort. Video cameras, cameras with detachable lenses, tablets, tripods, monopods, and camera sticks. Also, flash photography and live-streaming are not permitted while on the tour.
So that’s no Periscoping, no Vines and NO SELFIE STICKS. Now remember that there’s a supposed selfie ban in the Oval Office, presumably as not to interfere with the president’s official business. But you can take all the selfies you want in the East Room.
The White House has already created a hashtag (#WhiteHouseTour) to gather images from visitors, and here are some of the ways visitors have chosen to use it on this historic day:
— PoPville (@PoPville) July 1, 2015
— Kevin Lu (@SweatEngine) July 1, 2015
— HHS.gov (@HHSGov) July 1, 2015
— Cubby Graham (@cubbygraham) July 1, 2015
And of course, people were indeed very excited to get selfies with Bo:
Even those who are #scaredofdogs.