As Pope Francis — the Bishop of Rome, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City, — or as he’s known on Twitter, @Pontifax, begins his tour of the United States, Twitter has unveiled four new emoji for the occasion.
In other words, you can now use pope emoji when you tweet.
Twitter has a rather innovative design that lets users access the four emoji. Using the hashtags #PopeinUS, #PopeinDC, #PopeinNYC and #PopeinPhilly, users can tweet the new emojis. Once included, the pope in front of the American flag, the Capitol building, the Statue of Liberty, and the Liberty Bell will then respectively be inserted right next to the hashtag. So on the one hand, no, you can’t just drop one of the new pope emojis in, but on the other hand, you now have pope emojis, which is pretty cool.
Though the emojis themselves are brand, spanking new, the mobile phone app development is not. It’s not the first time Twitter has used the creative tactic to drive higher rates of engagement on its platform.
For MTV’s Video Music Awards, Twitter made an astronaut. In celebration of the new, upcoming Star Wars movie, it added emoji of the characters. When the Supreme Court passed its same-sex marriage ruling this summer, it made a rainbow heart emoji to appear next to #LoveWins, much like the pope emoji.
Twitter is also experimenting with branded emoji, a creative new way to approach advertising exclusively for its platform. The first step into this foray was with Coke. When #ShareACoke is tweeted, two glass bottles of Coke clinking appear next to it. This new marketing strategy appears to be in its experimental phase, though. Twitter declined to reveal the revenue deal it set up with Coca-Cola, and wasn’t clear about the future of the product in an interview TechCrunch.
Nevertheless, it’s likely that there will be more emoji in the future. As for now, enjoy the new pope emoji.