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Instagram launching Amber alerts feature

June 1, 2022, 3:48 PM UTC

Instagram will soon begin displaying Amber alerts on users’ feeds, seven years after its corporate cousin Facebook began the practice.

Meta, on Wednesday, announced it would begin rolling out the feature immediately, with the expectation that it would be fully available in 25 countries in the coming weeks.

When an Amber alert is activated by law enforcement officials, users in the designated search area will see the alert appear in their feed, with a picture of the missing child, as well as a description, the location of the abduction and other information. The alerts will be sharable to widen the net.

Instagram says the alerts will be “rare and specific to the search area.” Who gets them will be determined by several factors, including the city listed on your profile, your IP address and location services, if you have that feature turned on.

“Instagram is a platform based on the power of photos, making it a perfect fit for the AMBER Alert program,” said Michelle DeLaune, president and CEO at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, in a statement. “We know that photos are a critical tool in the search for missing children and by expanding the reach to the Instagram audience, we’ll be able to share photos of missing children with so many more people.”

Amber alerts on Facebook have assisted in recovering hundreds of children who were endangered, the company said. (Alerts on Facebook are rare.)

Instagram says the feature will be available in 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 UAE, and the US.

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