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Facebook on Tuesday announced that it will expand its “local alerts” feature throughout the United States, to help the country’s government reach a broader number of people in times of crisis.
“When authorities mark posts as local alerts, we greatly amplify their reach so that people living in an affected community are much more likely to see them,” Facebook said in a blog post.
The company previously tested local alerts with 350 local US governments, including Miami and Tennessee.
“Since we started testing local alerts, we’ve invested in making these alerts smarter, allowing partners to specify whether they’re sending a missing person alert, a public safety alert or a weather alert,” Facebook explained.
The feature also sends people in the relevant communities notifications to let them know that important alerts have been issued, and the news will appear in Facebook’s “Today In” tab as well.
Last year, Facebook launched Today In as a space for users in the US and Australia to find local news happening around them.
Facebook further noted that emergency services and local authorities with Facebook Pages around the United States can now fill out a form to apply for the ability to send out local alerts.
Though feature will roll out throughout the country over the next few months, Facebook has not mentioned if local alerts and Today In will be expanded to global users any time soon.
Feature image: Facebook