Pics, Tweets and Streaming Video for Pope’s U.S. Visit

Pope Francis isn't your typical social media star. He doesn't even carry a cellphone. But wherever the 77-year-old pontiff goes, millions of tweets, posts, pictures and video streams are sure to follow.

Two weeks after spurring a viral frenzy with a trip to a Rome eyeglass shop to get new lenses, the wildly popular Francis is embarking on his first journey to the greatest fishbowl of all: America.

Social media platforms and wireless carriers anticipate activity related to his Sept. 22-27 visit to rival the Super Bowl -- there's even a ban on drones and selfie sticks.

Wireless carriers are using the big game as a guide as they add capacity near the pope's stops in Washington, New York and Philadelphia.

They're trucking in portable cell towers and adding permanent antennas atop street lights on Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where a closing Mass is expected to draw more than 1 million people. Comcast, the hometown cable giant, is offering free Wi-Fi to ease the data strain.

Before that, Francis will meet with President Barack Obama and address Congress. He'll also address the U.N. General Assembly and visit the Sept. 11 memorial in New York.

Bishops are getting crash courses on tweeting and live streaming, and organizers are pushing the official papal hashtags: #PopeInUS and, for Spanish speakers, #ElPapaEnUSA.

For people attending Francis' U.S. events, social media can take on the role of a scrapbook, with personal snapshots and snippets of video preserving their place amid history -- a papal answer to the phrase "pics or it didn't happen."

And, if recent papal travel is a guide, millions more will be watching from afar, looking for real-time insights from on-the-ground reporters and Vatican insiders along with unexpected turns, like when Francis slipped into a Bolivian Burger King this summer for a wardrobe change.

"You can either be watching in person...

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