Twitter Debuts Emergency Alerts of Its Own
Twitter today announced Twitter Alerts, a tool for governments and other organizations to alert people about potential disasters or emergencies. Twitter said that alerts will show up on subscribers' phones as push and/or SMS notifications when Tweets are marked as alerts. Alerts look different from normal tweets in that they have an orange bell. According to Twitter, only select types of entities can issue alerts, including law enforcement; public safety agencies; and locate, state, and federal governments and their respective agencies. Organizations that believe they should be able to issue alerts are welcome to register with Twitter. Twitter thinks Twitter alerts will be best used to wan people of imminent danger, offer preventive instructions, provide evacuation directions, as well as disseminate information about essential resources, transportation, and utility disruptions.
Twitter to Post Larger Images In Timelines
Twitter today said it is improving the multimedia experience of Twitter.com by changing how it handles images. Moving forward, Twitter will now show full image previews, rather than crop them.
Google Maps and Google Search Debut SOS Function
Google today announced its Google Maps and Google Search apps will soon show critical information regarding natural and other disasters that may strike. The SOS Alerts, as they are called, will appear at the top of search results and within maps as people look for information concerning the disasters or impacted areas.
Twitter Aims to Make Discovery Simpler and More Rewarding
Twitter today announced a number of changes to the way it arranges tweets, trends, and topics in order to help people find and read about the things that interest them. For example, breaking news will now be added to the Happening Now tool that appears at the top of users' feeds.
Wireless Users May Eventually Receive Government 'Blue Alerts'
The FCC has added a new type of alert to the Emergency Alert System that is specifically meant for law enforcement officers and other first responders. Joining the Amber Alert and Silver Alert, the new Blue Alert can be used by state and local authorities to notify the public of threats to law enforcement and request help in apprehending suspects.
FCC Proposes Updates to Emergency Alerts
The FCC wants to see wireless emergency alerts used more effectively and proposed several changes to improve them. Wireless emergency alerts have been used since 2012 to warn people about severe weather or other safety threats, alert them to missing children, and deliver other information via text messages.