Popemojis Make Their Debut

Swyft Media

Just in time for Pope Francis' visit to the U.S., the popemoji is making its debut.

Yes, you read that right: Pope emojis are now a thing.

"Emoji are so ingrained in digital and social language, particularly among young people, that it was natural to make them an element of our digital effort to support Pope Francis' visit to the U.S.," said Kathleen Hessert, founder of Sports Media Challenge, which oversees the digital sector of Aleteia.org.

Hessert added: "Besides, the Pope has a great sense of humor, is totally approachable and dedicated to engaging people where they communicate."

The new keyboard is commissioned as a part of a "Good is Winning" initiative by global Catholic network Aleteia.org, according to a release on BusinessWire.com.

Swyft Media revealed its newest addition to smartphone keyboards Thursday. Swyft's new popemoji keyboard features 52 emojis and 14 GIFs of Pope Francis doing things like heading a soccer ball and taking selfies with the crowd, as well as location-specific emojis featuring the pope at sites such as the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool in Washington D.C.

The 78-year-old pontiff has become a social media star despite the fact that he doesn't even own a cellphone. No matter where the popular pope goes it's guaranteed that millions of tweets, posts, pictures, and video streams will appear online.

Wireless carriers anticipate the pontiff's Sept 22. visit to generate user activity similar to the Super Bowl; using the big game as a guide has led carriers to add capacity near the pope's stops in Washington, New York and Philadelphia. 

The emojis are now available for free on Google Play now and will arrive in the App Store soon, the company said.

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