As The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues its efforts to diversify its messaging and reach a global audience, it only makes sense that it would look for emerging tools to maximize that reach. Social media forms a crucial component of that effort, and General Authorities increasingly leverage their social media presence to largely positive effect.
We’ve come a long way since straightforward Facebook use, as the kids care less for the venerable platform and are more into what can be seen, and briefly at that. Snapchat and Instagram are all the rage, even as the former drifts into the sunset of the zeitgeist (or at least its stock price does). It should, therefore, come as no surprise that the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, regarded as prophets by Mormons, maintain an Instagram presence.
But lo’, how much of an Instagram presence do they really have? Each member has thousands of followers, yet the few that have generated content only have a little bit at that. It appears most of the accounts were created this summer.
However, even more interesting is which accounts the Brethren follow, because their interest in whatever shows up on their own feeds is limited to the same 11 other fellas they spend most of their time with. Indeed, the Twelve only follow each other on Instagram, while a few also follow the official LDS.org account. That’s it. There aren’t even accounts for the First Presidency, and the Presidency of the Seventy appears to be getting the short shrift.
And here’s a quick example of the actual follow list for one of the accounts:
So what’s behind this? Elder Cook doesn’t even have it in his heart to follow David Archuleta? Surely Elder Andersen wishes to follow some notable francophone.
Of course, in digital communications, a follow is in many ways and endorsement. Ergo, we can rest assured that the Twelve only endorse each other and most definitely do not endorse anything else, and perhaps they also have little interest in anything else. That said, it’s time for Elders Ballard, Stevenson, and Christofferson to pick up their game and at least share something. At least Elder Rasband had the good sense to share his experience throwing out a pitch at an Angels game, something that was sorely needed.
We’ll let you know when and if they follow TWiM. Given the surfeit of amazing content on our Instagram feed, it’s only a matter of time, right?