Instagram has launched a new AMBER Alerts feature that will aid in the distribution of vital information about missing children. The feature will help people share timely information and other critical updates to help tackle the issue of child abductions and other related issues.
Instagram’s Amber Alert is rolling out in 25 countries, and is in partnership with organizations like the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the US, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, the National Crime Agency in the UK, the Attorney General’s Office in Mexico, the Australian Federal Police and more.
It is the first-time users will have access to a feature that has been available to Facebook users since 2015. AMBER Alerts on Facebook has been a huge success in the last six years, and it is hoped that similar successes will be recorded on Instagram.
“We know that the chances of finding a missing child increase when more people are on the lookout, especially in the first few hours. With this update, if an AMBER Alert is activated by law enforcement and you are in the designated search area, the alert will now appear in your Instagram feed.”
Instagram’s AMBER Alert will among other important information include, the child’s photo, description, location of the abduction and any other available information that is available. To further spread the word, Instagram said people can also share the alert with friends.
The alerts will be localized, and when you see one, it would be mean there is an active search for a missing child nearby. Instagram said it uses a variety of signals, including the city you list on your profile, your IP address and location services [if turned on] to show these alerts.
Instagram’s AMBER Alerts is available in 25 countries including: : 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 UK, the United Arab Emirates and the US. The feature, will however, be available in more countries in later date.
Hundreds of missing children have been found using the Facebook version of the alerts since 2015 in the US and other countries where the feature is available.