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Pope Francis joins Instagram as ‘Franciscus’

Pope Francis’ first post on Instagram.

(Updated) Pope Francis on Saturday joined the photo-sharing social networking site Instagram under the name “Franciscus.”

Citing Monsignor Dario Vigano, Prefect of the Secretariat for Communications, said in a report by the Vatican Radio that the decision to open an Instagram account stemmed from “the Pope’s conviction that images can reveal many things.”

“Monsignor Vigano explained that the aim is to tell the story of this Pontificate through images allowing people who want to follow or know more about the Pope to see and share his gestures of tenderness and mercy,” the report read.

Vigano was quoted as saying that the photos that will be posted on the Pope’s account will “emphasize the qualities of closeness and inclusion that [he] lives out in his daily life.”

Last month, the Pontiff, who has been accommodating to people especially the young who want to take selfies with him, met with Instagram chief executive officer Kevin Systrom, who said that they discussed “the power of images to unite people across different cultures and languages.”

Instagram has around 400 million users worldwide.

Pope Francis’ official Twitter handle @Pontifex in 9 languages has more than 27 million followers. YG/IDL

(Originally posted at 17:14 on March 19.)

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