AMBER Alerts Available on Facebook
The national notifications issued when a child is abducted – AMBER Alerts – are going social. Today was AMBER Alerts Awareness Day, and in honor of AMBER Alerts, Facebook decided to launch the alerts system this week.
Facebook users in the U.S. will now see the alerts because of the social networking site’s partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. And let’s face it – most adults are now on some sort of social network (much to the dismay of our children who may or may not “friend” us) and Facebook is by far the most popular of all social networking sites.
Consider these stats from digitalbuzzblog: Facebook has more than 400 million users – over 50% of whom log on every day. And with more than 20 million users becoming fans of pages each day, AMBER Alert is smart to tap in to this crowd. With an average user having 130 friends, the odds of someone seeing the alerts are greater than just TV and radio alerts alone. Add to that the folks who access Facebook on their smart phones, and alerts can quickly become viral.
To get the alerts, visit AMBER Alerts on Facebook, choose your state, and start receiving alerts in your area. Alerts show up in a user’s news feed, just as other “liked” pages do, and can be shared with connections as well – a great tool for spreading the word about a missing child. Each state has its own Facebook Amber Alert page, and users who become a fan will immediately get alerts in their news feed when there is a missing child in their area. (California's page, for example, is http://www.facebook.com/amberalertCA.)
To publicize the new system, Facebook is donating 50 million advertising impressions, the company said. Right now, the alerts are only available in the U.S., but hopes are it can spread globally, says Mashable.
"Already, police departments across the land... are aggressively using Facebook to post updates about crime and public safety issues for their communities," Gus Sentementes of the Baltimore Sun notes this week. "The platform could become a very powerful tool for tracking down missing children, though, considering how quickly news, information and photographs can spread virally on the site."
AMBER Alerts on Facebook are a smart way for people to act quickly when a child is missing -- especially when those first few hours are so critical. And this social networking mom of four is loyal to any partnership that helps keep kids safe.
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