Twitter has announced the launch of Twitter Alerts, a new feature aimed at helping its users get important information from credible organizations during emergencies, natural disasters or moments when other communications services are not accessible.
This could not come at a better time after Kenya witnessed one of the worst terror attacks since 1998, something that saw social media filled with all forms of rumors and incorrect information sending more panic to the population.
Well, this could be a thing of the past with Twitter Alerts, as users will now be able to sign up to receive notifications directly onto their phones whenever relevant bodies including emergency services providers, media houses and government departments push out a Tweet.
“To subscribe to these notifications, you can go directly to an account’s setup page, which you’ll find at twitter.com/[username]/alerts. ” Twitter said via a blog post.
Twitter added that the notifications will be delivered via SMS, and for those who use Twitter for iPhone or Twitter for Android, they will receive a push notification provided they are using Twitter for iPhone version 5.10 or higher or Twitter for Android version 4.1.6 or higher.
Africa will however have to wait a little bit longer, as the service is currently available only to a number of organizations in the U.S., Japan and Korea before roll out to the rest of the world.
Let us all hope that the likes of Kenya Police, Kenya Red Cross, Ministry of Interior and other emergency services providers will sign up for this service by completing an enrollment form to allow their followers receive credible information, and end this mayhem of unconfirmed reports during disasters as witnessed in the recent Westage mall attack.