It’s no secret that Facebook has become more than just another social media outlet. It is now the site that people are likely to check on a regular basis for information about not only their family and friends but also for breaking news. Yesterday, Facebook released a new feature that will help transcend borders worldwide.
Facebook released Safety Check, a simple and easy way to check if your friends and family are safe when a natural disaster occurs. During a crisis, Safety Check will allow you to:
- Let friends and family know you are safe
- Check on others in the affected area
- Mark yourself, your friends and family as safe
Natural disasters and times of crisis are, unfortunately, happening more and more often. Facebook saw the overwhelming use of social media to check on loved ones who may or may not have been affected by a disaster. Safety Check will provide an easier way for you to fine your loved ones and to make sure they are safe.
The way it works is quite simple; Safety Check is only activated after a natural disaster. Facebook will determine your location through your current location, your friends’ location and your recent check-ins. If they determine you are in the affected area, you will be sent a notification asking if you are safe. If Facebook gets your location wrong, you can simply say you were not affected. If you are in the area, you will be given the option to mark yourself as safe. A status and notification will be generated on your behalf. You can also mark your friends as safe.
This new feature came out of a disaster message board which was designed by Facebook engineers in Japan following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami which they saw overwhelming response and usage.
The new feature will bring an ease of communication to ensure your loved ones are safe. Safety Check is already getting some extremely positive feedback. You can find Facebook’s full statement and release here.
What do you think about this new feature? Will it be successful?
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