President Obama
US President Barack Obama said he had been waiting six years to get a personal Twitter account approved. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

US President Barack Obama is now on Twitter.

Obama used his first tweet from his new account to complain that it had taken six years for him to be allowed to tweet in a personal capacity.

Obama has traditionally tweeted under the @BarackObama Twitter handle managed by his campaign staff, signing off Tweets '- BO.' if he wrote them personally.

But in a Twitter statement soon after, the White House confirmed that the new personal account @POTUS was indeed the president himself.

Within half an hour of joining Twitter, Obama had over 125,000 followers, within an hour that had doubled.

It may be the president's first personal account, but Obama and his campaign team utilised social media extensively in both in 2008 and 2012 as a means of drawing in younger, internet-savvy US voters.

He joins a number of other high profile world leaders that tweet in a personal capacity, including British Prime Minister David Cameron, who launched his account in 2010, and Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini, who has become known for his brash Twitter style.