Holy COWS: Social media a big part of Pope's U.S. visit

Social media a big part of Pope's U.S. visit

(WVUE) - Pope Francis' visit to the U.S. is creating a buzz on social media. That's not lost on the Pope, who has his own Twitter account. The Catholic Church is pushing social media with the PopeinUS hashtags

"I think it's really cool, I think he needed to do that and come into the 21st century," said visitor Paul-William Molyneaux.

To accommodate the anticipated overwhelming data usage during the Mass on the grass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, AT&T has installed an enormous cell tower.

"We want them to have a good time, we want them to be able to take pictures, share with their friends, and of course to have communication, because if the communication goes down, not having enough capacity, people could end up getting lost and not getting contact with each other," said AT&T spokeswoman Oneza Sohel

The "COWS" or cells on wheels near the Capitol and on the National Mall will boost the Pope's signal as well as the crowd's so they won't have to wait to tweet the perfect selfie.

"It's kind of frustrating. You want to capture the moment in the moment. You don't want to do it after the fact, you want to do it there and then, right?" said Molyneaux.

But cell carriers warn that even the heavy-duty COWS may not be able to answer all social media prayers.

"For large videos, if they have HD videos, wait until you get home to upload those and try to text if the calls do not go through," Sohel advised.

For some, that's just fine because it's not about the timing - it's about the message.

"You can do it later," visitor Sylvia Schiro said. "It's not important when you put it, but important to use the right hashtag!"

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