A photo tweeted by NBC News comparing pilgrims in St. Peter's Square in 2005 and 2013 is going viral on social media.

The image composite shows a crowd lit up like a Christmas tree with smartphone, tablet and camera screens. The 2005 photo has only a mere spattering of flip-phone screens:


NBC News
What a difference 8 years makes. St. Peter's Square in 2005 vs. 2013.

"What a difference 8 years makes," the tweet says.

pope nbc photos

Although it's true that we're all carrying a lot more technology in our pockets than we did in 2005, the photos are a bit misleading.

The bottom photo is indeed the crowd watching as the new Pope Francis speaks to St. Peter's Square for the first time after he was elected on Wednesday. The top photo, however, is not from Pope Benedict XVI's election, but rather from shortly after Pope John Paul II's death when his body was carried across the square and into the Basilica for public viewing.

Here's the original photo and Associated Press caption:
john paul ii death
People fill Via Della Conciliazione boulevard about 950 meters (2900 feet) away from the facade of St. Peter's Basilica after Pope John Paul II's body was carried across the square into the Basilica for public viewing, at the Vatican Monday, April 4, 2005. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Another tip-off is the fact that after Pope Benedict XVI won the papacy on April 19, 2005, he addressed the Square during daylight hours. However, it is true that a crowd of Catholics greeting a new Pope meant a lot fewer iPads waving around. See some photos from Benedict XVI's introduction as pope below.

benedict elected

benedict elected

Also on HuffPost:

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  • Pope Francis speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

  • Visitors take photos of Pope Francis as he speaks from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

  • A nun reacts after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

  • Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis

    In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis delivers his blessing to the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

  • Pope Francis addresses the crowd from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

  • Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis

    In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis, center in white, talks to the crowd, flanked by cardinals including Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, right, Giovanni Battista Re, second from right, and Agostino Vallini, second from left, from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)

  • Faithful hold up a sign with the writing in Italian reading "Hail to the Pope" after the election of Pope Francis, the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope. (AP Photo/Angelo Carconi)

  • Crowds cheer after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013.(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Crowds fill St. Peter's Square after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Faithful wave an Argentine flag in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio who chose the name of Francis, was elected on Wednesday the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • People react after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • People react after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

  • People react after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • People react after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • People react after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis

    Pope Francis, white figure at center of the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, looks at the crowd in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • People wave a Vatican flag after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Pope Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

  • People shelter themselves under their umbrellas as they wait for smoke to billow from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who chose the name of Francis, is the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

  • A reader looks at the first edition of the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano after the election of Pope Francis, the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

  • Crowds cheer after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Crowds cheer after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013.(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Visitors cover St. Peter's Square with their umbrellas as they wait for the election of a new pope by the cardinals in conclave in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013.(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • A Swiss guard salutes, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. The Catholic church has chosen a new pope. White smoke is billowing from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, meaning 115 cardinals in a papal conclave have elected a new leader for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Crowds cheer after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • Crowds cheer after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013.(AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • People gather in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Cardinals remained divided over who should be pope on Wednesday after three rounds of voting, an indication that disagreements remain about the direction of the Catholic church following the upheaval unleashed by Pope Benedict XVI's surprise resignation. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

  • A pilgrim kisses a cross after white smoke billowed from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

  • People wave American flags in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. The Catholic church has chosen a new pope. White smoke is billowing from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, meaning 115 cardinals in a papal conclave have elected a new leader for the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

  • White smoke billows from the chimney on the Sistine Chapel indicating that a new pope has been elected in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Nuns and faithful watch from the Apostolic Palace in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was elected pope on Wednesday to lead the Roman Catholic Church, a prelate announced to huge crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square. He took the name Pope Francis, the cardinal said. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)