Twitter has just announced a couple of small but useful updates to its Twitter Alerts system, which allows participating organizations to send out notices to subscribing users about emergencies or disaster areas.
The alerts system gains the ability to pop up an in-app notification inside of Twitter’s apps today, utilizing the same pop-up ‘toast’ notifications that its new apps use for mentions and retweets. The notifications are red instead of blue and will only display if you’ve subscribed to an organization’s alert system.
Twitter says that you can now also subscribe to Alerts as notifications inside its iOS and Android apps by visiting an organization’s profile and tapping the bell icon.
It also announced that organizations in Australia and Brazil have joined the program. An announcement post from earlier this week noted that various police, city and regional organizations had joined in offering the alerts in Australia. Twitter notes that even if you don’t live in one of the participating countries, you may still find some alerts of use. Currently organizations in the U.S., Japan, South Korea, UK, Ireland, Australia and Brazil are officially participating.
As we mentioned with the program launched, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has already recommended networks like Twitter and Facebook over other forms of communication during emergencies. And it fits in with the narrative of Twitter as a communication channel rather than a ‘social network’.