Twitter has created a new papal visit emoji in honour of Pope Francis’s visit to Ireland this August.
The emoji, consisting of the smiling face of the pope against an Irish flag backdrop, can be generated under a number of hashtags including #PopeinIreland and will be launched on Tuesday.
Pope Francis, an active social media user with more than 17.7 million followers, is no stranger to his image being used for emoji purposes. Twitter has previously unveiled similar emoticons to mark his papal visits to the United States and Latin America.
The pope will arrive in Ireland on August 25th for a two day visit. The official itinerary includes a presidential meeting with Michael D Higgins, a private visit to a homeless day centre, and a holy mass taking place at Phoenix Park on Sunday at 3pm.
Although crowds are expected to be substantially smaller than Pope John Paul II’s papal visit in 1979, the event will be the first of its kind in Ireland to have a simultaneous Twitter conversation alongside it.
Karen White , Twitter’s director of public policy for Europe, said the pope’s visit was one of the biggest events happening in Ireland this year.
“Naturally many people will be using Twitter to discuss his time here. We want to encourage everyone across the world to join the conversation on Twitter about his visit to Ireland so we’ve created this special emoji for people to use,” she said.
Brenda Drumm, World Meeting of the Families 2018 communications manager, said it was exciting to see Irish version of the pope emoji , which would encourage public engagement online.
The emoji can be generated using numerous hashtags including #PápaInÉirinn, #WMOF2018 and #FestivalOfFamilies.