As US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul made quite a splash online. During his two-year stint as America's top man in Moscow, McFaul regularly tweeted , posted  to Facebook, and blogged  on LiveJournal.
McFaul's commentary spanned both his professional and personal life, and he was not afraid to engage with his online audience, even when that meant fighting a “Twitter war ” with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or discussing his personal life and American culture with followers from Siberia.
In many ways, McFaul became a poster boy for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's push to adapt American statecraft to the twenty-first century by embracing digital diplomacy. Foreign Policy named  McFaul among the “Twitterati 100″ for 2013, Medialogia rated  him the tenth-most-quoted blogger on the RuNet in 2012, and the State Department's official monthly magazine even ran a cover story  on his social media activities in December 2013.
In February 2014, however, McFaul resigned his post amid worsening US-Russia relations, and returned to teach and study at Stanford. To take his place, Washington sent John Tefft, a career diplomat who previously served as US Ambassador to Ukraine, Georgia, and Lithuania.
Following Tefft's arrival in Moscow in September 2014, Spaso House ‘s online presence has changed to reflect its new boss. In a sharp departure from McFaul, Ambassador Tefft has no personal Twitter or Facebook accounts.
Instead, the embassy is now foremost represented on these social media platforms by standard organization accounts: @USEmbRu  on Twitter and the US Embassy Moscow page  on Facebook. Both of these accounts post content regularly, favoring more formal diplomatic-outreach messaging, like the tweet  below, and only occasionally engage with followers.
Новогоднее поздравление посла США в России Джона Теффта: http://t.co/6i4F7Jm5PR 
— Посольство США в РФ (@USEmbRu) December 31, 2014 
New Year's greetings from US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft
Despite the change of tone following McFaul's departure, the US embassy has on occasion displayed flourishes of liveliness, challenging the likes of Konstantin Rykov and Anton Korobkov, two prominent pro-Kremlin bloggers. In December 2014, for instance, @USEmbRu  mocked Rykov's decision to block it on Twitter.
Noooooooo! pic.twitter.com/hqGkwHhB0y 
— Посольство США в РФ (@USEmbRu) December 16, 2014 
Rykov soon changed his mind, which @USEmbRu  joked about, too.
Yay! pic.twitter.com/D7NkniOkf3 
— Посольство США в РФ (@USEmbRu) December 16, 2014 
Also in December, @USEmbRu  retweeted several posts (including the one below) lampooning Korobkov's campaign to reinstate his Twitter account, which was banned for posting death threats against a Ukrainian politician. (Ultimately, Twitter acquiesced and returned the account to Korobkov.)
Тот самый момент, когда у тебя 100 000 фолловеров, а тебя вышло поддержать 8 человек, потому что все остальные боты pic.twitter.com/h9uhHKbKOB 
— Евроманежка (@euro_manezhka) December 28, 2014 
That moment when you have 100,000 subscribers, but only 8 people come out to support you, because everyone else is a bot.
@USEmbRu  also does sometimes retweet the more topical political tweets that tend to excite social networks. As would be expected, in recent months these retweets have often been related to events in Ukraine.
Adding to the embassy's Twitter presence is spokesperson @WBStevens , who brings a personal touch, engages more with followers, and posts edgier and more playful political content, such as the tweet below.
На Измайлове. 2,000 рублей ($30). Слов нет. No comment. pic.twitter.com/o5vpcYk7db 
— Will Stevens (@WBStevens) January 17, 2015 
At Izmailovo [Market]. 2,000 rubles ($30). There are no words. No comment.
The embassy updates several other social media accounts, as well, in addition to Twitter and Facebook. The “Embassy Voices” blog  on LiveJournal features posts ranging from an embassy intern writing about American football, to promotion  of a US pop/rock band touring Russia, to a post  by the Vladivostok Consul General reflecting on cities in the twenty-first century. The embassy's VKontakte page  largely mirrors its Facebook page. Occasional Instagram  posts share photos such as of the beautiful holiday decorations  in Spaso House.
Ambassador Tefft does, however, use one social media platform himself. He blogs  on LiveJournal.
Since arriving in Moscow in September 2014, Tefft has written ten LiveJournal posts, exhibiting a measured, diplomatic style. In different posts, Tefft tells the story of how he helped bring  bronze duck statues to a Moscow park, shares  thoughts on the American tradition of Thanksgiving along with his wife's recipe for stuffing, and discusses facing global challenges such as the fight against HIV/AIDS  and corruption .
In a post  from November, Tefft recounts an outing to the Bolshoi Theater and reflects on how culture and ballet helped build a bridge between the American and Russian peoples during the Cold War, before concluding:
Независимо от того, какие проблемы разделяют наши правительства, я думаю, что русские и американцы едины в своей любви к красоте балета, которая отражает наши общие человеческие переживания языком танца и музыки.
Regardless of what problems divide our governments, I think that Russians and Americans are united in their admiration of the beauty of ballet, which reflects our shared human experiences through the language of dance and music.
Overall, while Spaso House is not neglecting digital diplomacy under Ambassador Tefft, the online buzz generated by Ambassador McFaul in Russia certainly seems to have dissipated in a big way.