#Blessed? Pope Francis begins 'new journey,' joins Instagram

Pope Francis has upped his social media game yet again. This time, he's gotten himself an Instagram account. He's already scored more than 750,000 followers.

He's already scored himself more than 750,000 followers

A man looks at the Instagram account of Pope Francis in Rome. The pontiff joined the photo-based social media app on Saturday. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis has upped his social media game yet again. This time, he's gotten himself an Instagram account.

The pontiff joined the social media app Saturday under the moniker @Franciscus — which is Latin for Francis. While he's only had the account for a few hours now, he has already scored himself more than 750,000 followers.

His first Instagram post was a photo of himself, head bowed and hands clasped in a praying position, coupled with the caption "Pray for me."


Another photo posted a few hours later shows the Pope bowing his head again behind a large gold cross.

The Vatican says the Instagram feed will include photos and videos from the Pope's daily life that highlight "closeness" and "inclusion."

"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 Monsignor Dario E. Viganò, the prefect of the Vatican's Secretariat for Communications, in a written statement.

The move to Instagram comes after the Pope met with Kevin Systrom, one of the photo-sharing app's co-founders and current CEO. Systrom visited the Pope at the Vatican in late February, where they discussed the power of photographs.

Systrom wrote about Pope Francis joining Instagram, calling it an "incredible moment."

"Your messages of humility, compassion and mercy will leave a lasting mark," he said in a photo he posted on his Instagram account on Saturday.

But he was far from the only one talking.

It started with the Pope on Twitter, where he announced his arrival to Instagram.

The Pope is already a social media star on Twitter, where his English-language account @Pontifex has nearly 9 million followers. 

His words led to a lot of excitement ...

... and some obligatory Instagram/papal-themed humour.

There were also a few guesses about which social platform the Pope turns to next.

Despite admitting he is a technology "dinosaur" that doesn't know how to work a computer, the Pope recently called social media and text messages "a gift of God" if used wisely.


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