Beginning this morning, Facebook said it would begin sending Amber Alerts on missing children to personal newsfeeds of mobile-Facebook users in the area. Many new phones are already configured to receive the alerts, right out of the box.
So why would Facebook go forward with its ambitious plan? Facebook officials insist that alert systems already built to receive Amber Alerts only send out a few lines of text, while Facebook's alerts will be able to send out pictures of the child, pictures of possible involved vehicles, and more details regarding the incident.
The Facebook Amber Alert, which will go out to its approximate 140 million users, is a partnership between the social media company and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Users will see Amber Alerts in the second slot of their news feed. Users will be notified depending on their geographical location, but users won't receive an additional push notification.
The Amber Alert system began in 1996 following the kidnapping and murder of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman. Since then, approximately 700 children have been found as a result of the alerts.