A day after announcing its push notification system for popular Tweets and accounts, Twitter introduced on Wednesday a new feature aimed at helping specific organizations reach people in the right way.
Twitter Alerts allow you to get time-sensitive information during critical events such as emergencies and natural disasters. Whenever a reliable entity to which you have chosen to subscribe marks a Tweet as an alert, you will automatically receive an SMS on your phone. iPhone and Android users will also get a direct message. Additionally, you will easily recognize these alerts on your home timeline thanks to the orange bell displayed next to them (see picture).
While participating organizations can determine what information merits a Twitter Alerts designation, the feature is intended for crisis, disaster and emergency communications, such as:
- warnings for imminent dangers
- preventive instructions
- evacuation directions
- urgent safety alerts
- information on access to essential resources
- information on critical transit and utility outages
- crowd and misinformation management”
(Source: Twitter Media Blog)
Right now, 100 NGOs and government agencies (e.g., FEMA, American Red Cross, World Health Organization...) in the United States, Japan and Korea can use the feature. However, Twitter plans on making it available to more organizations around the world in the near future.
To get notifications, visit this page or the account’s setup page (http://twitter.com/[username]/alerts). You can also see if an organization is part of the programme by looking at its profile. On twitter.com, the option is located right above its pictures and videos in the left sidebar.
Note that only users living in the United States, Australia, South Korea, and the United Kingdom can receive SMS and push notifications.