(The Hill) – Instagram users will begin seeing AMBER alerts for missing children in their area, the company announced Wednesday.
The feature is rolling out first in the U.S. and 24 other countries, with plans to expand the feature to more countries going forward.
The alerts will include details about the child, such as a photo, description, location of the abduction and any other available information that can be provided, Meta’s director of trust and safety Emily Vacher said in a blog post.
Users will also be able to share the alert with friends to further spread the word about the missing child.
The alerts will be specific to an area, meaning if one shows up for a user there is an active search for a missing child nearby. To determine the correct area to display the alert, Instagram will use data including a user’s city listed on their profile, IP address and location services if activated, Vacher wrote.
The update comes about 7 years after Facebook, under the same Meta parent company as Instagram, launched AMBER alerts on the platform.
“Instagram is a platform based on the power of photos, making it a perfect fit for the AMBER Alert program,” Michelle DeLaune, president and CEO at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, said in the blog post. “We know that photos are a critical tool in the search for missing children and by expanding the reach to the Instagram audience, we’ll be able to share photos of missing children with so many more people.”