Instagram Adds Amber Alerts To User Feeds

Today Instagram announced that it would be adding Amber Alerts to users' news feeds. It plans to add this new feature immediately and utilize it in the coming weeks in up to 25 different countries. Instagram has partnered with a few different organizations in a number of countries to make these Amber Alerts possible, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the U.S. and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. According to these groups, the more people that are aware of a missing child, the better the chances are of locating them. Since Instagram is such a powerful tool for sharing images and allowing them to reach multitudes of people, this could be a successful step in finding children who are in danger. 

This feature comes after Facebook added Amber Alerts to user feeds in 2015. The social media platform places issued Amber Alerts at the top of someone's news feed if they are in a nearby area. These alerts on Facebook can also be shared to increase their visibility. Publicizing Amber Alerts in this way has since aided searches for missing children and resulted in more successful outcomes. Instagram has a huge number of users, so it makes sense to add Amber Alerts to the platform as well.

How Instagram AMBER Alerts will work

Instagram plans to integrate Amber Alerts into users' news feeds. This means as you scroll through your feed, you may come across an alert depending on a few factors. These are the time the Amber Alert was issued, as well as if you live within the area of the alert. Using the city associated with your Instagram profile or your location data (if you have it turned on), Instagram will attempt to deliver location-relevant Amber Alerts. When you see an Amber Alert, you can opt to view more information on it as well as report sightings to your local authorities. 

With each alert, you'll be able to see the child's photo and information to help identify them. These can be shared with others in order to cast a wider net in the search for the child. The 25 countries that Instagram plans to make Amber Alerts available include 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 U.K., the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. Look for Amber Alerts to go live in those regions over the coming weeks.