Pope and Instagram CEO meet to discuss power of images.

Kevin Systrom, the CEO and co-founder of Instagram was blessed by Pope Francis on Friday at the Vatican's Apostolic Palace. He met the pontiff and the two discussed the inherent power of images to unify individuals across different languages and cultures.

It is well known that Pope Francis and the Vatican are open to adopting new technology. Even his predecessor used social media.

Systrom wrote that the honor of personally interacting with Pope Francis was one of his life's most memorable experiences. Systrom gave the Pope a book with ten specially curated Instagram photos sourced from all over the globe. The carefully selected photos showed migrants in the Middle East, the Arctic landscape and its change due to global warming, and also the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal.

Even though the Pope does not have an official Instagram account, he is considered quite tech. He has about 8.75 million followers across his networks. In 2014, Pope Francis even hosted a Google Hangout. He often happily takes selfies with those who want them.

The Official Vatican Network posted an Instagram photo of the meeting. It came with a More Than a Photo Op caption. This post had a few distinctive hashtags like #PopeFrancis, #Vatican, #Vaticano, #YearofMercy, #catholic, #PapaFrancesco. The pontiff along his support staff in the Vatican were attracted to social media. They had used a number of platforms to communicate with Catholics situated all around the world.

The move to be social media savvy is one of the many changes the present pope has started so that he can make himself more approachable and personable. However, Pope Francis only has one personal social media account, his Twitter profile, while Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts are maintained by the Official Vatican Network.

Systrom co-founded Instagram in October 2010. The app surpassed one million users within December of the same year. In September 2015, Instagram made an announcement that its user base was approximately 400 million members.  


Follow the Conversation on Twitter