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Pope Francis set for increased Instagram presence

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 1 2013 8:35 p.m. MDT

The official Instagram of His Holiness, Pope Francis.

Instagram

Pope Francis already preaches, prays, talks, tweets and writes.

Now he’s about to make waves on Instagram.

Catholic News Service reported Monday that the Vatican’s Instagram account is about to kick off a new wave of posts and interactions. Instagram users should expect to see “inspiring scenes that recall the presence of God in our lives: Sometimes we will find objects, or (signs) used as metaphors, or persons sharing with us the joy of being Christians,” according to Catholic News Service.

The Instagram account’s first post was on March 6 with an image of Pope Benedict XVI at his last public speaking, which was on Feb. 27, the day before his retirement, according to Christian News Service. After a trial run that featured posting on a regular basis, the Instagram account will now be one of the Vatican’s “main platforms of social media communication.”

The creator of the account, Jose-Miguel Chavarria Mugica, explained the importance of an Instagram account to the Catholic News Service.

“The world is full of images that remind us of the grace of God in our lives; situations, persons, statues, signs, little things we come across every day,” he said. “Smartphones are the perfect tool to catch these instants of grace in a picture and Instagram is a great and easy tool to share them.”

Mugica told The Huffington Post, "We are at a very early stage with Instagram. Now we are just exploring different options for all kinds of audiences.”

Pope Francis has some ground to cover to reach other religious leaders, according to The Huffington Post. Right now, religious personalities Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen and Rick Warren all have more followers than the pope.

Pope Francis is leading the way on Twitter, however. Currently, the pope’s account @Pontifex has 3,051,815 followers. Though he’s nowhere near the top in terms of the number of followers — Justin Beiber leads the way with 45,275,607 — Pope Francis was ranked as the most influential world leader on Twitter by a 2013 study.

This isn’t the first time Pope Francis has made waves in social media culture. Back in August, his selfie with young fans went viral across the Internet.

That led one writer at Daily News to ask the question: How soon until we see another papal selfie?

Email: hscribner@deseretnews.com

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