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Johnson & Johnson focuses on social in photo app update

Johnson & Johnson’s update of its Donate a Photo application, which now offers donations in exchange for photo submissions through Facebook and Twitter, points to the importance of using social to engage mobile givers on the go.

In addition to letting users sign up and log in using Facebook and Twitter, the update improves cropping functionality and enhances push notification capability. The changes point to the need to make a giving app easy and quick to use as well as inherently social and encouraging users to do something they already do – in this case taking photos with a mobile camera.

“There is much to like about this,” said Jeff Hasen, founder and CEO of Gotta Mobilize, Seattle. “Especially given the fact that J&J is donating to a good cause, mobile users eagerly take photos, and sharing is a common and frequent activity.”

Buying resources
For every photo a user shares through Donate a Photo, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 to a user-chosen charity from a changing list.

Raising money through users’ everyday mobile activity.

Charities currently supported by the program include the nonprofit anti-bullying organization, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, or PFLAG, which has a 25,000-photo goal.

Donations for PFLAG go to resources and materials for an anti-bullying session held at a school, to help keep schools safe and protect children from being bullied.

As of Wednesday afternoon, PFLAG had received 2,965 photos and helped 2965 children, according to the Donate a Photo Web site.

Also on the active list is Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a pediatric cancer charity which has a 500-photo goal and had generated 845 photos and funded 17 hours of cancer research, according to the Web site.

Other active causes include UNICEF, with a goal of 5,000 photos. Campaigns expiring in several days include the American Diabetes Association.

The site reflects Johnson & Johnson’s effort to create flexible, lightweight tools that fit the dynamic and competitive digital philanthropy space.

Last July, an executive from the New Brunswick, NJ, maker of Band-Aids, Tylenol and a host of other consumer, pharmaceutical and professional products, told Mobile Commerce Daily’s Nonprofit Mobile Day that Donate-A-Photo had helped fund more than 20,000 children’s eye exams, buy 4,000 resuscitation devices for newborns and restore 14 public parks.

Launched in 2013, Donate-A-Photo has continued to drive social promotions and push notifications, finding mobile-social advertising success in one-click links to app stores.

The app attempts to acquire new users through paid mobile advertising, influencer partnerships, search engine marketing and media integrations. Its organic uses of advertising are app review Web sites, social media, celebrities and other influencers, traditional media and physical promotions. 

The site strives to stay on top of the public’s desire for faster social actions and shareability.

The Donate-A-Photo experience is accessible across mobile and desktop devices, but only mobile users are able to submit a photo.

Desktop, tablet and laptop users can only view the collection of photos and activity impact.

Building favor
Other nonprofits that have used Donate-A-Photo include Children’s Miracle Network, American Heart Association, Keep America Beautiful and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Changing the image of philanthropy.

“J&J is building favor by doing this and making it easy for app users to take part,” Mr. Hasen said. “Of course, a key is discovery – will consumers know about the campaign and respond to calls to action to download and use it?

“Another question is whether there is an alternative way to take part so the program becomes more inclusive,” he said. “Choice is often the killer app.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York