In 1975, White House officials never knew the age of selfies would flood social media with photos from every corner of the earth.

But for the first time in 40 years, visitors can take selfies, video and anything else they can snag with their smartphone inside the most recognised home in the world.

"Effective today [July 1]," the White House cheerily announced, "guests are now welcome to take photos throughout the White House tour route and keep those memories for a lifetime".

The announcement included a link to First Lady Michelle Obama tearing up a "No Photos or Social Media Allowed" sign.

According to the White House, the ban on interior photography was first put in place because flash bulbs could damage the artwork.

With new technology, that’s no longer a problem.

A ban on cameras with lens over three inches, video cameras and tripods is still in place. Flash photography and livestreaming are also prohibited.

Nevertheless, the first lucky tourists wasted no time. In the East Room, Michael Labrecque of Florida, posed with his sons Madison, 11, and Mason, 9, for a photo while wife Melinda watched on.

"This is amazing," he said. "I’m taking as many as I can."

Source: Al Jazeera