Instagram’s adding a new AMBER Alerts feature to distribute important information about missing people in the app, and share timely, critical updates to help address child abductions and related situations.
As you can see in this example, the new AMBER Alerts, which will be targeted by geographic area, will alert users that there’s an active search for a missing child nearby.
Alerts will include details about the child, including a photo, description, location of the abduction and any other available information that can be provided. Users can then respond to an alert if they have any info, while they can also share the alert with friends to help spread the word.
As per 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.”
The option utilizes Instagram’s scale and popularity to maximize the reach of such alerts, broadening awareness, which will ideally help to ensure that more people are on the lookout, and more information is being shared with relevant authorities.
Instagram developed the new feature in partnership with a range of regional authorities, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, 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.
Meta implemented a similar AMBER Alerts process on Facebook back in 2015, and it’s since led to valuable information being shared, helping to find missing kids in various situations.
It’s an important, and valuable update, as anything that can be done to raise awareness in such situations can be a help in getting kids back home, with the more prompts, the better.
AMBER Alerts on Instagram will begin rolling out today, and will be fully available in the next couple of weeks in 25 countries: 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.
Instagram says that it’s also working to expand and bring them to more countries in future.