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President Barack Obama pleased tech watchers on Tuesday with mentions of Facebook’s photo sharing site Instagram and other Silicon Valley companies in his State of the Union address. The White House set the digital-savvy tone before the speech even started, breaking the tradition of releasing the text of the speech to the media under embargo, and publishing it in full on the blogging website Medium. Some tech commentators quickly proclaimed the choice as validation for new media platforms. The White House explained its choice as a change needed to end the practice of keeping the public "in the dark" about the text of the speech while select people in Washington got to follow along.
While the nods to Silicon Valley's contributions to the country's progress are common for Obama, the tech sphere score-keepers were jolted by the mention of a photo-sharing site, owned by Facebook. "In two months, to prepare us for those missions, Scott Kelly will begin a year-long stay in space. Good luck, Captain -- and make sure to Instagram it," Obama said, in a quote quickly tweeted out by the White House official account, and re-tweeted by Instagram's own Twitter account. Workers at Instagram were surprised at the mention of their company by Obama and cheered. "Wait did Obama really give us a shout out!" one Instagram employee messaged co-workers.
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