New Twitter Alerts Service Provides Critical Information In Real Time During National Emergencies

Twitter has launched a new broadcast system that will allow users to receive important information and updates from creditable organisations during emergencies and national disasters.

Called Twitter Alerts, the opt-in service already has the support of a number of public institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the U.S., Japan and Korea, with plans to expand the platform to other countries soon.

Here’s the scoop from the official Twitter blog:

If you sign up to receive an account’s Twitter Alerts, you will receive a notification directly to your phone whenever that account marks a Tweet as an alert. Notifications are delivered via SMS, and if you use Twitter for iPhone or Twitter for Android, you’ll also receive a push notification*. Alerts also appear differently on your home timeline from regular Tweets; they will be indicated with an orange bell.

Here’s how it works:

1. Go directly to a participating organisation’s alerts page, which you’ll find at[username]/alerts
2. Click on the ‘Activate Alerts’ button

As an example of what to expect, here’s FEMA‘s page:

Readers: will you use this alerts service from Twitter? Hit the comments to let us know.

(Source: Twitter Blog.)