Twitter Inc. (NASDAQ:TWTR) has been in the headlines recently for coming up with new applications for users, like the custom tweet timeline . However, the social network is now willing to prove its civic duty by launching an emergency “alert” service in the UK. The Twitter alerts will help users avert natural catastrophes like flash-floods and hurricanes by sending out a warning text message and alert on their timelines.
Let’s take a look at Twitter’s intentions with this new program and see what benefits customers can find in its use.
The Japanese tsunami of 2011 undoubtedly left the population in awe at how unpredictable and harmful natural catastrophes can be. So, when the U.S., Japanese and South Korean government started seeing the large growth of Twitter Inc. (NASDAQ:TWTR) users in their countries, they decided the social media giant could be of great use. Hence, Twitter invented the emergency “alert” service and those three nations were the first to climb on board. And after Hurricane Sandy and the manhunt in Boston, it became clear that the social network could contribute positively in preventing accidental deaths and damages.
UK on board
In the past, Twitter Inc. (NASDAQ:TWTR) has shown how useful it can be as an information source, especially when other forms of communication are inaccessible. The Arab spring and Egypt revolts were the perfect example of how fast and far news can travel through the microblogging site if necessary. So now, the UK Foreign Office, the Environment Agency, the London Fire Brigade and the entire regional police force have signed up for the “alert” service in the hope that it will help them improve their performance under difficult situations. However, the Twitter emergency service will only be used “to share urgent information about a significant risk to life or the environment as a result of flooding or an environmental incident”, as stated by the Environment Agency.
A life-saving initiative
Now Twitter Inc. (NASDAQ:TWTR) may not be a hero, but its users definitely could be. The company’s Partner Manager Bridget Coyne stated when the service first launched that, “When news breaks about a weather or safety emergency, government agencies and emergency responders jump into action on the ground and on Twitter, delivering critical and timely information and engaging with constituents”. And this course of action will be the key in helping the UK forces retain a conflict, since instant information can be the life-saving factor in scenarios like a terrorist attack.