Metrics of the accounts on Pope Francis' Digital Platforms

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The time of confinement caused by COVID-19 was characterized using digital platforms. The consumption of content in applications was one of how it became possible to cope with the delicate situation that affected the socialization of human coexistence. On the other hand, religion was also influenced by the mutation of the scenario for digital environments, more specifically in the case of Pope Francis, in which all public interventions require a significant number of people. Therefore, given the limitations of public gatherings, the method used was digital communication, hence the relevance of analyzing Pope Francis' metrics on digital platforms during confinement. As specific objectives, the accounts of Pope Francis and Vatican communication were identified, the metrics for each of them were captured, and thus the forms of communication and their impact on the audience, with the interaction elements recorded by the networks. The study is analytical, with a quantitative, transactional approach. It addressed the metrics from March 9 to October 3, 2020. Data capture was carried out between November 1, 2022, and January 30, 2023. The accounts analyzed were from the official media of the Holy See, the Vatican News YouTube profile in Spanish; of Pope Francis; on Twitter @Pontifex_es; and Instagram: @Franciscus. During the study period, the Vatican News profile broadcasted 64 masses held daily from Pope Francis' residence, the Domus Santa Martha, which accounted for 349 billion views and more than 43 hours of transmission. It deserves particular attention that previously only an excerpt of the pope's words was disseminated, however, during confinement the entirety of the celebration was known. In the area of the Instagram account, during the study period, 97 posts were published, with 35% in video format, and 65% in image format with photo carousels. Posts with videos have an average of 200 thousand likes; However, the publication of March 27, 2020, has more than 1.1 thousand views, 371 likes, and more than 9 thousand comments. A comparison based on 1.2 billion accounts on the platform allows us to affirm that the reach exceeded 9 million followers of the profile. On Twitter, 393 tweets were posted from the @Pontifex_es account, and on March 27, 4 tags were positioned between 6 and 11 p.m. in Rome, with more than 690K mentions. The trends positioned were: #Papa; #Pope Francisco; #Vatican; #UrbiEtOrbi. The data reflects the viral nature of the person of Pope Francis on digital platforms, as well as the adoption by the Vatican in the use of applications and social networks, as well as the audiovisual format to connect with the audience, in the complex scenario of confinement of Covid-19.
Period19 Oct 202320 Oct 2023
Event titleEncuentro de la Red Internacional de Investigación y XVII Jornadas de Investigación, Desarrollo e Investigación UCASAL
Event typeWorkshop
LocationSalta, ArgentinaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Digital communication
  • Pope Francis
  • Metrics
  • Comunication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Cultural Studies