UNICEF’s Facebook App Turns Social Network into Water Network

Move over, Farmville. Virtual farming is out, and virtual plumbing (for a good cause) is on its way in.

As part of its annual Tap Project, UNICEF has partnered with Droga5 to create an app that turns your Facebook page into a virtual water tap. The project’s goal is to help raise awareness of the staggering number of people around the world who lack access to safe drinking water (roughly 800 million), while simultaneously raising money to help get clean water to those people.

According to UNICEF, just $5 dollars can give one child safe drinking water for 200 days. By donating those $5 dollars to the cause via PayPal or text message, Facebook users can now turn their pages into virtual taps carrying water to those in need (money-raising) and then choose two friends to whom they can link “pipes”, urging them create taps of their own (spreading awareness). Through this dual-action campaign, UNICEF hopes to “turn the world’s largest social network into the world’s largest water network.”

“As participants begin to grow the water network, they will be able to see the web of connections around them carry water from friend to friend and the impact of their donation on the lives of children around the world,” said Will Davie, strategist at Droga5. “It’s a great way of using real-time data to incentivize people to not only donate but in turn encourage their friends to get involved, too.”

According to UNICEF’s promotional video introducing the project and accompanying app (below), if just one percent of Facebook users get involved, they could raise enough money to provide 1 million children with clean drinking water for an entire year. We must say, that’s some app. Take that, Mafia Wars!