Instagram to add Amber Alerts to social media feeds

Instagram is partnering with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to help more people respond to Amber Alerts.
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 12:57 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - When a child is kidnapped, every minute matters. Now, in an effort to reach more people as quickly as possible, Instagram is adding Amber Alerts to its platform.

“If you are in the geographic search area for a missing child, and there is an Amber Alert that goes out, you will see in your Instagram feed, if you’re on the app,” explained Kate Randle, a public policy manager at Meta. “You’ll see an alert that will say information about the abducted child, as well as a picture of the child, and then what I think is really important is an opportunity to directly contact law enforcement through the app if you think you see something suspicious.”

Michelle DeLaune, president and CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, praised the social media partnership. “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,” DeLaune said in a written statement.

For years, Facebook has posted Amber Alert information to users’ timelines, resulting in hundreds of tips for investigators. “There was one example in Florida. There was a woman who was just out on her lunch break looking through Facebook, saw the alert, and was able to get in touch with law enforcement and help save the child,” Randle said. “It’s working. We’re seeing it work, and I think we’re just going to continue to see that grow as we expand to Instagram.”