Vatican City: In a happy surprise for several people across the globe, Pope Francis opened his account of Instagram and managed to garner a whopping one million followers in mere 12 hours.
The Pope posted his first photo on Instagram on Saturday, a picture showing him kneeling down praying, on the third anniversary of his inauguration as Holy Father.
“I want to walk with you along the way of God’s mercy and tenderness,” he wrote on the photo-sharing platform, under the account name franciscus.
“Instagram will help to tell the story of a papacy, letting everyone who wants to come along and get to know the papacy of Pope Francis,” said Vatican communications chief Dario Vigano.
Photos from Vatican daily the Osservatore Romano will be posted, as well as brief videos, “to try to show details which demonstrate .. aspects of intimacy and inclusion which Pope Francis lives every day,” he said.
Another picture was posted shortly after the first one.
Pope Francis met Instagram chief and founder Kevin Systrom at the Vatican last month. Instagram, which was acquired by social media giant Facebook in 2012, had over 400 million users as of the end of February.
The pope has some 30 million followers in nine languages on Twitter, which he joined in 2012 under the handle @pontifex -- the word “pope” in Latin.
Inizio un nuovo cammino, per percorrere con voi la via della Misericordia e della tenerezza di Dio. Inicio un nuevo camino, para recorrer con ustedes el camino de la Misericordia y de la ternura de Dios. I want to walk with you along the way of God's Mercy and tenderness. Ich beginne einen neuen Weg, um mit euch den Weg der Barmherzigkeit und der Zärtlichkeit Gottes zu gehen. Je commence un nouveau chemin, pour parcourir avec vous la voie de la Miséricorde et de la tendresse de Dieu. Inicio um novo caminho, no Instagram, para percorrer com vocês a estrada da Misericórdia e da ternura de Deus.