Pope Francis is Now on Instagram, Gains 1 Million Followers in 12 Hours

Whoever said that the church should stay stuck in the past? Pope Francis, who has proven to be media savvy, is now on Instagram under the handle @Franciscus. And in less than 12 hours, the Pope received one million followers, breaking a record previously held by football player David Beckham, who received the first million in 24 hours.

His first photo shows him kneeling in prayer, with the caption “Pray for me” in nine languages. The post was in time for the anniversary of his papal inauguration.

Even if the Pope’s Instagram account is separate from the Vatican’s official account, the Pope’s Instagram page will be maintained by members of the Vatican, like his Twitter account.

@Franciscus was registered weeks after the Pope met with Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s CEO. According to a representative from the platform, the two discussed “the power of images to unite people across different cultures and languages.”


Systrom was present when the Pope’s first photo was posted. He also posted a photo of him shaking hands with the Pope on his own account, with the caption, “Watching Pope Francis post his first photo to Instagram today was an incredible moment. @franciscus, welcome to the Instagram community! Your messages of humility, compassion and mercy will leave a lasting mark.”

Follow the Pope on Instagram!