Your texts aren't the only place AMBER Alerts will now appear.
Today, Facebook announced their partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to provide alerts about missing children on your news feed (mobile and desktop). An official Facebook press release notes:
When local or state police determine that a case qualifies for an AMBER Alert, the alert is issued by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and distributed through the Facebook system with any available information, including a photograph of the missing child, a license plate number, the name and description of the child, and suspected abductor.
Law enforcement determines the range of the target area for each alert. The number of alerts people will see depends on how many alerts are issued in their area — some people may see a few each year and many people will likely get no alerts at all. The alerts will appear in News Feed, but will not trigger any notifications to a person's phone.
AMBER is an acronym for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response, and the alerts were created in honor of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped and killed over a decade ago.
With the rise in social sharing, this partnership (the first with a social media site) will ensure that more people will notice and look out for missing children. More than 720 kids are recovered each year because of AMBER alerts, some who have been found because of shared posts on Facebook.
Sherry Huang is a Features Editor for Parents.com who covers baby-related content. She loves collecting children's picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea
Image: Screenshot of a Facebook AMBER Alert courtesy of Facebook