Pope Francis begins new social media journey on Instagram
Pope Francis has begun a ‘new journey’ on social media with the opening of his brand new Instagram account, which attracted over one million followers within 12 hours.
The Holy Father announced his latest venture into social media on his Twitter page last Saturday. ‘I am beginning a new journey, on Instagram, to walk with you along the path of mercy and the tenderness of God,’ he tweeted.
By Monday morning the pope’s account already had 1.5 million followers and his debut post, an image of him praying with the caption ‘Pray for me’, had been liked by 269,000 people and had received approximately 32,000 comments.
Last month the pope met Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s chief executive and co-founder, at the Vatican. Following their meeting, on 26th February, Mr Systrom posted a photo of himself with the Holy Father and a caption reading, ‘Today I had the honour of meeting Pope Francis. We spoke about the power of images to unite people across different cultures and languages. It was by far one of the most memorable experiences of my life!’
The pope began using the photo-sharing site under the name @Franciscus, Latin for Francis, last Saturday. It marks the Holy Father’s latest initiative in new media; he already has over 25 million followers on Twitter in nine different languages.
Monsignor Dario Viganò, the Prefect of the Secretariat for Communications, said the social media department of the Secretariat for Communications would be responsible for the management of the Pope’s Instagram account, which will post not only photos but also short videos.
“Instagram will help recount the Papacy through images, to enable all those who wish to accompany and know more about Pope Francis’ pontificate to encounter his gestures of tenderness and mercy”, said Msgr Viganò. “We will choose photographs from the Photographic Service of L’Osservatore Romano, selecting certain details. In this way we can show those aspects of closeness and inclusion that Pope Francis lives every day”.
Pope Francis’ Instagram page can be viewed on: https://www.instagram.com/franciscus/Tags: Holy Father, Instagram, Kevin Systrom, Monsignor Dario Viganò, Pope, Pope Francis, Vatican