Facebook just announced that it will now distribute AMBER Alerts about potential child abductions to any of its 500 million users who sign up for this service. The company has created AMBER Alert pages for every state in the U.S., as well as Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The company will not automatically put these alerts on every user’s page, though. Instead, you have to find your state’s AMBER Alert page and “like” it. Facebook hopes that these alerts will also spread virally to those users who didn’t opt in to receive them.
With over 100 million users in the U.S., Facebook is ideal medium to spread these emergency bulletins. Most of its users, after all, are more likely to see these alerts on their social media profiles than on their local TV stations.
It’s also worth noting that Facebook’s former competitor MySpace introduced AMBER Alerts a few years ago.