Facebook is pretty much everywhere nowadays, and it looks like they’re putting their extended reach to good use. The social networking giant has reached out to partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to bring AMBER Alerts to everyone’s News Feeds. If you’re unfamiliar, the AMBER Alert program is a child abduction alert system that broadcasts missing children information on televisions, radio networks and straight to our smartphones. The AMBER Alerts that will show up on Facebook are based on local results, so you’ll only get alerts that happen around your area. The alerts will include photographs and basically as much information as the organization has on the child. Once you see an AMBER Alert post on your feed, you can share it with whomever you’d like, allowing the information to spread as quickly as possible. The alerts will begin going out today and will show up on desktop, Android and iOS Facebook applications.
If you’re already receiving these alerts on your smartphone and not through your Facebook app, you’re not alone. Most smartphones already have this functionality built-in but it doesn’t necessarily help as much as you might think. If you receive an AMBER Alert on your phone you’ll hear a loud ring, followed by a few lines of text, linking to the AMBER Alert website. This method is convenient and certainly makes users look at their devices, though it doesn’t really give out that much information for people to gather. Facebook aims to give you as much information as possible with each alert they send out, hopefully warranting more results.
Some may not think this is a big deal right now, but this is a big step forward in hopes to find more missing and abducted children.