Twitter on Wednesday announced Twitter Alerts, a new system that enables public institutions and NGOs to send out emergency alerts via text message and push notifications in times of crisis. Users can sign up to receive emergency notifications from specific accounts, and will receive a text or push notification when that account sends a tweet it labels as an alert. Project Manager at Twitter, Gaby Peña explains;
Twitter Alerts [is] a new feature that brings us one step closer to helping users get important and accurate information from credible organizations during emergencies, natural disasters or moments when other communications services aren’t accessible.
The service has more than 70 participants for the new system already, including The American Red Cross, FEMA, and the World Health Organization. In addition to state and regional accounts like the New Jersey State Police.
We’ve seen Twitter actually be a valuable communications tool in past times of crisis (hurricanes & the Boston Marathon bombings for example), being used by both media and authorities share news quickly. What do you think, will you sign up to receive Twitter Alerts? Let us know in the comments below!