We have a new Pope, Twitter says

While Conclave was going on, tens of thousands of people waited outside the Vatican awaiting a decision from the Cardinals: Who will be the next Pope?

In the past, Conclaves have lasted anywhere from a day to a few days to weeks – the Cardinals are not allowed to leave until the Pope has been decided. I was following the media and keeping updated on Twitter as to the Conclave process, and tweeting along occasionally (one of the organizations I do Social Media Management for also required this).

Then suddenly, while driving into Toronto, I heard on the radio that the Pope had been chosen!

I quickly arrived at where I was going and headed straight to Twitter to find out the latest: quotes, links to articles, photos from the live video feeds in the Vatican where it was evening, and of course the new hashtags that had been created to mark the occasion. The ones I chose to participate in and follow most was #PopeFrancis and #HabemusPapam (meaning “We have a Pope!” and that Latin was actually used in a Twitter hashtag).

Soon after, I checked the Pope’s Twitter account – which had been blank since the resignation of Pope Benedict (they archived the previous Holy Father’s tweets on a website) – and found the first new tweet:


Of course this is news for the World, as there are over 1 Billion Catholics (and countless others interested and influenced by the Pope announcement). All of the major outlets reported it. But the real source of information was Twitter.

The crowd gathering at the previous Pope’s announcement in 2005, compared to today. The change in technology and communication in only 8 years!