International News

Pope Joins Instagram and Sets Record for Gaining Followers

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – With a simple tap, Pope Francis joined Instagram and quickly set a record for gaining one million followers. The launch of the “Franciscus” account March 19, the feast of St. Joseph and the third anniversary of the formal inauguration of his papacy, was preceded by huge media coverage. But still, he hit the million-follower mark in just 12 hours, making his “our fastest growing account on Instagram to date,” said Stephanie Noon, an Instagram spokeswoman. The pope broke the record held for almost a year by former soccer star David Beckham, who took twice as long to gather one million followers. Joining Instagram, Pope Francis jumped into a community that tends to be younger and more complimentary than people on Twitter, although with similarly impressive “engagement rates.”