Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) launched its Alert app in the UK and Ireland after launching it in the United States, Japan and South Korea in September. As of now, only 57 users have registered for Alerts, including 47 in the UK police department, the London Fire Brigade, and the Mayor of London’s office.
Twitter Alert useful for citizens
Alert feature conveys useful information to users from the recognized organizations in the wake of emergencies, natural disasters, or when other communication services fail, says a blog post from Twitter.
Whenever these organizationsl tweet and mark it as an alert, an orange bell will appear to convey this information to the followers. Commander David Martin, in charge of emergency planning for the Metropolitan Police Service, wrote on Twitter’s blog that conveying any emergency situation like a terrorist attack will make a considerable difference.
“Using social networking sites, including Twitter, gives us additional ways to talk directly to the public. Twitter Alerts means that our messages will stand out when it most matters,” Martin said.
Twitter continuing with ‘Innovate through experimentation’
Similar services have been used by Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) in the UK. Last year, during the London Olympics, the ticket shortage issue gave way to many alert services on the internet offering users alerts as to the time when tickets would be released for previously sold-out events, but Twitter took many of them down.
The micro blogging site is following its strategy; innovate through experimentation, and is trying to add many features in its timeline. While some features are accepted and will become permanent, other fail. Twitter Alert is gaining traction, and as the service grows internationally it has a good chance of becoming permanent on Twitter.
A similar service in Japan
Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) Alert is similar to a service in Japan called Lifeline, which is a feature that helps Japanese citizens to get information from local accounts that are important in times of crisis.
Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is offering its Alert services for free, as of now, positioning itself as the town square for the connected world. To receive alerts, users should sign up from a given account, and can receive the tweets on their phone, whenever an alert is marked in that account.
Though there are many organizations that are already using Twitter to convey messages during crisis, Alert will enhance the usage even more.