Amber Alerts are an effective tool for locating abducted children. The law enforcement agencies authorize them and broadcast them on television, via text messages, and other channels. Now, Instagram will include Amber Alerts in users’ feeds with the feature launched in the US yesterday. In addition, it is likely to be rolled out to 25 countries in the next couple of weeks. This shows how apps like Instagram are becoming essential tools for communication in the modern world.
A few reasons make Amber Alerts a great addition to Instagram. Firstly, younger generations may not pay attention to text messages but may be somewhat obsessed with Instagram. Additionally, unlike text alerts that require people to click a link in order to view more details and photos of the missing child, Instagram’s alerts include this information directly. It seems the alerts will not be sent out as notifications – rather, they will appear in the users’ regular feeds.
Amber Alerts were integrated into Facebook’s News Feed as far back as 2015. It’s rare and focused, though, which is why it’s more notable if you haven’t seen one before. Law enforcement has pretty stringent guidelines about the context in which they can be issued (descriptions about both the victim and the abductor, as well as information about the vehicle of the suspect are pretty critical requirements). Moreover, these alerts are only sent out to people believed to be near the area of the abduction.
When Instagram announced the integration, it said, “If you get one, it means there is an active search for a missing child nearby.” To determine who to show these alerts to, we use information such as the city listed on your profile, your IP address, and location services (if you have them enabled).”
Availability of Amber Alerts feature
According to Instagram, the new feature will be available in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Ecuador, Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Jamaica, Korea, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, South Africa, Taiwan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, UAE, and the United States.