Communications News
Charity Insight Contributor
Published 07 March 2011

A revised version of the iHobo app will aim to be more personal and

interactive than its predecessor, announced the homeless charity Depaul UK on March 2.

Version 1.2 of the app will highlight issues surrounding homelessness by integrating more facts, and it will also encourage social networking via email and sites such as Facebook. Users will be able to input their name and develop a more personal relationship with the virtual figure.

The news was revealed at the Think Mobile event hosted by the Media Trust and Google, where Depaul UK were among the experts presenting how mobile technology can help charities reach new audiences.

First launched in May 2010, the iHobo app was developed for the iPhone by the homeless charity Depaul UK and the advertising agency Publicis London. It was a massive success, reaching number one in the Apple iTunes free download chart within five days. The app also managed to raise more than £10,000 from 4,000 new donors.

The original iHobo was not without controversy, however. Richard Burdett, editor of Pavement, a magazine for rough sleepers, thought the feature was 'crass' and went on to say: 'it's a slick app, but it does not tell you about life or other people.' But Paul Marriott, Chief Executive of Depaul UK, remains optimistic: 'iHobo has been a great success for Depaul UK over the last year so we are pleased to be announcing an updated version, building on the lessons we have learnt to make it work even more effectively.'

Ben Hamilton

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