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Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom gets to hang out with the Pope

instagram ceo meets pope kevin systrom
Charles Porch/Instagram
Pope Francis is evidently comfortable chewing the fat with tech leaders, last month alone hooking up with Google’s Eric Schmidt and Apple’s Tim Cook.

On Friday, the head of the Catholic Church hosted Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom at the Vatican, where, according to Systrom, they had a chat about the unifying power of photos.

“Today I had the honor of meeting Pope Francis,” Systrom wrote in an Instagram post featuring a photo of himself alongside the man in white. “We spoke about the power of images to unite people across different cultures and languages. It was by far one of the most memorable experiences of my life!”

Systrom provided some examples of weighty Instagram images in a photo book that he presented to the Pope during their encounter. And no, there wasn’t a single plate of food or selfie among the selection.

Instead, the pages included, for example, an image from last year’s earthquake in Nepal and another of refugees traveling from the Middle East to Europe, according to Time. There was also one taken from inside the secretive state of North Korea and another showing the Baltimore protests of 2015.

While Pope Francis currently has more than 8.7 million Twitter followers, the church leader is yet to put his name to an Instagram account – we’ll soon find out if Systrom managed to persuade him to dive in and give it a go.

The Pope has in the past voiced concern about the possible negative influences of social media, views that indicate he may hang back from joining the photo-sharing site anytime soon, leaving his admirers to make do instead with the Vatican’s official news account.

Despite posting several images from Friday’s encounter in Rome, it seems Systrom didn’t quite have the cojones to ask for a selfie, though judging by the Pope’s past form, it’s pretty certain he would’ve happily obliged.

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