Smiling President Obama surrounded by people taking pictures (© AP Images)
Can't get a selfie with the president? For the first time, people can send messages to the president through the White House Facebook page. (© AP Images)

People can now send a note to President Obama by messaging the White House on Facebook.

The White House’s Messenger bot, the first of its kind for any government the world over, “will make it as easy as messaging your closest friends,” said Jason Goldman, the White House’s chief digital officer, in an announcement.

Face-to-face time with the president wasn’t all that unusual in the country’s early years. Abraham Lincoln used to have regular office hours for the public to come in and visit. Telephones replaced personal visits in the 1880s. In 1994, the White House launched its first website, allowing people to contact the president online.

Here’s how the bot works: Go to the White House Facebook page and click “Message” to get in touch with the president.

“It’s about creating opportunities for people to engage with their government in new and accessible ways, using the same technologies we already rely on in our daily lives,” Goldman said.

Obama likes technology. When he was a candidate for president, Obama was asked to name his worst habit. He said it was checking his BlackBerry mobile phone. That’s one of five little-known facts about President Obama.