The Holy Father will officially make his Instagram debut on Saturday, joining the likes of Selena Gomez and Taylor Swift on the online photo-video sharing social networking service under the handle Franciscus according to a statement by Vatican Radio.
Pope Francis known as @Pontifex on Twitter is still the most Influential world leader on Twitter with followers exceeding 23 million. His @Pontifex account on the social media site has versions in 9 languages including English, Spanish, German, Italian and Latin.
Pope Francis, who admitted being an overall “disaster” with technology said that the Internet, social networks and text messages were “a gift of God” if used wisely.The Internet could be used to build a society which is healthy and open to sharing, he had said during this year’s World’s Communication Day.
Pope’s increasing interest in social media is designed to facilitate spreading of the Gospel through the internet. His messages reaches hundreds of thousands of believers and non-believers across the world.
Mg Dario Vigano told Vatican Radio yesterday that the Pope will make his Instagram debut on March 19, the Feast of St Joseph – the same day on which he will sign his post-synodal document on the family. He will join around 400 million other users.
In late February this year, the pope met with Kevin Systrom, the CEO and co-founder of Instagram.
“We spoke about the power of images to united people across different cultures and languages,” Systrom posted on his Instagram account. “It was by far one of the most memorable experiences of my life!”
The Pope described the digital world as “a public square, a meeting place where we can either encourage or demean one another, engage in a meaningful discussion or unfair attacks”.
“Social networks can facilitate relationships and promote the good of society, but they can also lead to further polarization and division between individuals and groups,” he said.