Pope Francis posts first picture on Instagram

His first post was a picture showing him kneeling down praying, on the third anniversary of his inauguration as Holy Father.

Sunday March 20 2016

A screen shot shows the Instagram account of Pope Francis (Franciscus) launched today on March 19, 2016. The date for the pontiff's debut on the celebrity-dominated social medium was chosen by the 79-year-old himself as it marks the third anniversary of his inauguration as the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. PHOTO | AFP

A screen shot shows the Instagram account of Pope Francis (Franciscus) launched today on March 19, 2016. The date for the pontiff's debut on the celebrity-dominated social medium was chosen by the 79-year-old himself as it marks the third anniversary of his inauguration as the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. PHOTO | AFP  

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VATICAN CITY

Pope Francis 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.

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.

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