Pope Francis signing the Visitors Record Book of the Sanctuary of the Virgen del Quinche

Copyright: Vatican Media

Pope Francis to Launch Instagram Account Saturday

Prefect of the Secretariat for Communications Says Decision to Open ‘Franciscus’ Account Arises from Pope’s Conviction About Importance of Images

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Tomorrow on the Feast of St. Joseph, Pope Francis will officially launch his own Instagram account.
In a statement released by the Holy See Press Office, Francis’ first post under the account name ‘Franciscus’ (Latin for Francis) on the photo and video sharing social network site is expected shortly after 12 p.m. Rome time.
Instagram was founded in 2010 and already has some 400 million users worldwide. The social media department of the Secretariat for Communications will be responsible for the management of the Pope’s Instagram account, which will post not only photos but also short videos.
In the Vatican statement, Monsignor Dario Vigano, the Prefect of the Secretariat for Communications, notes how, “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.”
“We will choose photographs from the Photographic Service of L’Osservatore Romano, selecting certain details. In this way we can show those aspects of closeness and inclusion that Pope Francis lives every day,” he added.
The Vatican official pointed out that it is not by chance that the Instagram account will be inaugurated during the Jubilee Year of Mercy, as the Jubilee thus enters into social media in a «very concrete and natural way.»
Last month, Pope Francis met with the CEO of Instagram, Kevin Systrom. In a post after the audience, Systrom said they discussed “the power of images to unite people across different cultures and languages.”
Pope Francis already has a strong presence on social media platforms. His Twitter account, available in nine languages, has more than 25 million followers whose numbers are constantly increasing. This Instagram launch just marks the latest initiative.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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