We knew Pope Francis was planning to launch an Instagram account and this weekend we saw the first photos and videos from it. As you would expect, His Holiness features prominently, though as yet there are no selfies.
“I want to walk with you along the way of God’s mercy and tenderness,” reads the bio of the new official account, while the first image is captioned simply: “Pray for me.” For the benefit of his worldwide audience it’s translated into nine different languages.
Instagram founder Kevin Systrom – who has met the Pontiff before – was on hand to help the Pope deal with any filtering or cropping issues that came up. So far the tens of thousands of comments left on the posts seem largely positive.
“A gift from God”
The leader of the Catholic church has previously described social media as “a gift from God” so it should come as no surprise that he’s decided to make the jump to Instagram. Pope Francis’ predecessor Pope Benedict XVI started a Twitter account in 2012 that now has 8.91 million followers.
But no love yet for Facebook: monitoring the page and cleaning up all the unwelcome comments would take too long, according to the Pope’s team. The Pontiff has previously warned against spending too much time accumulating friends on social media.
If you want to keep up with Pope Francis on Instagram then his official feed is here; you might also want to give the Vatican’s feed a follow as well. With three posts in the first 24 hours it doesn’t look like there’s going to be an overwhelming number of updates – but the Pope is rather busy on Sundays after all.
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