What's That App Called? WWF Earth Hour

**As published in digiday:DAILY** Publisher: WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Price: Free Platform: BlackBerry Advertising: None Functionality: B+ Fun Factor: B- Overall: B+ Almost four years after kicking off in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has grown into a global movement with hundreds of millions of people turning off their lights for an hour to send a message about climate change. With 2010’s Earth Hour just mere days away (March 27), World Wildlife Fund is supporting the cause in the form of a free BlackBerry app, among other activities. The homepage of the app is dominated by a slideshow of photos taken in cities before and during Earth Hour has passed. While highlighting the visible collaboration of millions of people making the same point in unison, the power of darkness is unmistakable.

The WWF Earth Hour app also has a countdown clock running along the right-hand side of the photo gallery. For such a seemingly simple premise, WWF does a good job of adding features that help connect Earth Hour supporters, while offering tips and ideas that will lessen our impact on the environment as a whole. Basic features like “WWF tweets,” “WWF images,” “add to calendar,” “upcoming events” and “invite friends” via e-mail are paired alongside a few more interactive functions. WWF’s app offers a list of eight “participation ideas” for Earth Hour, as well as general tips that aim to “Make Every Hour Earth Hour:” like driving less, getting involved, buying local and sustainable food, recycling and limiting air travel. Finally, the app offers a way for users to track their participation on a global map with the aid of Twitter and Google Maps. There’s also the ability to drill down into regions to see where the most people have made their plans for support public on the “Global Participation Map.” Some of the app’s limitations are probably a result of the BlackBerry operating system’s shortcomings, but for an app devoted to driving interest and engagement in a single-hour-around-the-world event, WWF surely does its job of making the cause compelling, and worthy of more interest and participation.

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