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World Wildlife Fund delivers interactive experience via iPad app

World Wildlife Fund has launched its first iPad app that leverages the device?s swipe, camera and geolocation functionality to deliver an interactive and educational experience about endangered species.

The nonprofit launched the WWF Together app to help users get closer to the lives of the endangered animals it works to protect, including whales, elephants and rhinos. The app incorporates editorial content, videos and interactive features to tell the stories of eight different animals, with new species to be added going forward.

?We look for new ways to engage individuals with educational content about conservation and WWF?s work,? said Terry Macko, senior vice president of marketing and communications at WWF, Washington. ?WWF loves trying to connect with people where they already are ? and where they want to be reached.

?With a quarter of all Americans owning tablets, this is the next step in advancing our use of digital technology to help supporters get closer to our work by creating interactive content that educates, engages, and entertains all generations on the importance of conserving the diversity of life on our planet,? he said.

Interactive animal portraits
The animal portraits that appear in the app consist of editorial content such as unusual facts about the animals, high-definition videos and photography.

Users are able to experience what it is like to have tiger vision leveraging the device?s camera, swipe sea ice to reveal polar bear facts and chop a panda?s bamboo.

Users can also create a digital origami of each animal that folds up to create an animated video that can be shared with friends via Facebook, email and Twitter. Downloadable instructions for creating an origami animal are also included.

Other features in the app include a 3D interactive globe that enables users can spin to find out exactly how far away they are from 60 different animals around the world.

The app was designed and developed by AKQA.

?Taking the lean-back media consumption behaviors associated with the tablet into consideration, we wanted to push the possibilities of nontraditional storytelling and present some of the most captivating and usual facts about these species in an exploratory and playful way,? said Sarah Cheffy, account supervisor at AKQA, San Francisco.

Ongoing conversation
The app also features multiple ways for users to get involved and help protect endangered animals.

The app is available for free in the Apple App Store.

This is WWF?s first mobile app. As of Jan. 15, it had been downloaded over 120,000 times.

?With one in four US adults currently owning a tablet device, we saw an opportunity to shape a new narrative around some of the biggest challenges we collectively face on the planet,? Ms. Cheffy said.

?We wanted to create a unique digital experience that leverages the capabilities of and behaviors associated with this platform in a way that puts the consumer at the center of the world's most amazing species,? she said.

?We view the app as a new way to engage audiences in a conversation that will unfold and evolve for years to come.?

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York