Social Media

Pope Francis joins Instagram to spread church's message to millennials


By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

March 16, 2016 | 3 min read

Pope Francis is set to join Instagram in a bid to widen his social footprint and help spread the Catholic message to a tech-savvy generation.

The pontiff will join the likes of Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber on the platform under the handle @Franciscus on Saturday (16 March) to celebrate the third anniversary of his inauguration as leader of the Catholic church.

Dario ViganĂ², the Vatican's prefect of communications, confirmed the move during an appearance on Vatican Radio on Tuesday (16 March).

Pope Francis Joins Instagram

The move is part of wider social media strategy dreamt up by the church to ensure the pope's teachings reach a large number of believers and non-believers globally.

In the December following his inauguration, Francis drafted in US communications constultancy McKinsey and Co to help him manage the church's image and modernise its communications operations for a younger generation.

A couple of weeks ago, the leader met with Instagram chief executive Kevin Systrom to discuss the power of pictures and how they can be used to "unite people across borders, cultures and generations."

The latest marketing news and insights straight to your inbox.

Get the best of The Drum by choosing from a series of great email briefings, whether that’s daily news, weekly recaps or deep dives into media or creativity.

Sign up

Francis is currently a big influencer on social: he joined Twitter in 2013 and has more than 21 million followers across his English and Spanish Twitter accounts.

Social Media

More from Social Media

View all


Industry insights

View all
Add your own content +