His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has opened an official Instagram account. Miraculously, the username "dalailama" was still available. It's one of a number of official social media ventures undertaken by the Dalai Lama in recent years, and it's gotten off to an active start.
The account is currently home to 16 photos, with the first appearing at the beginning of February. The photos mostly show the Dalai Lama meeting with various people, including President Barack Obama, Larry King, and the members of his police security detail while visiting Richmond, California.
As you'd expect, the account is most likely managed by a number of people on the Dalai Lama's staff rather than the man himself, and the photos largely appear to have been taken with non-phone cameras. (No word on whether his Holiness prefers iOS, Android, or Windows Phone.) But it nevertheless offers a compelling view into the life of the retired leader in exile.
The Dalai Lama's previous social efforts have included Facebook, where he has a prodigious 7.8 million likes, and Twitter where he has 8.5 million followers. Despite the success, his Twitter account still only has roughly one fifth the follower count of Justin Bieber. Though the Instagram account has only 11,000 followers right now, it's likely to grow very quickly.