Organisations will be able to hashtag tweets carrying critical information as #alerts which will feature an orange bell for added visibility.
Twitter Alerts launched in the US, Japan and Korea in September, followed by the UK and Ireland in November, and have already been used in a number of emergency situations.
On launching the Aussie alerts the social media behemoth said “…all the organisations participating already use Twitter as a tool to communicate important information to their followers.”
The added functionality of Twitter Alerts will help emergency services reach their followers with fast, accurate information during emergencies, natural disasters or when other communications services aren’t accessible ::::
Thirteen Australian emergency organisations have so far signed up to the service, including five state police forces, a number of state fire services, local and federal government departments as well as the Red Cross. Participating organisations will choose for themselves what information merits a Twitter Alert designation.
After signing up to receive alerts, users can elect to have the tweets delivered as SMS notifications directly to a mobile device. Those with iPhone or Android phones can opt for push notifications instead of SMS alerts.
Twitter says the service will make it easier for those organisations to get critical information to the right people at the right time.
“We have made this service available because it’s important for our users to be able to receive reliable information during times of immediate crisis,” Twitter said on its Australia Blog. Twitter expects more services to sign up over the next few months.
The Aussie participants so far are:
- The NSW Rural Fire Service @NSWRFS
- NSW Police @nswpolice
- Victorian Police @VictoriaPolice
- Queensland Police @QPSmedia
- Western Australia Police @WA_Police
- South Australian Police @SAPoliceNews
- Australian Government’s travel advisory @smartraveller
- The Department of Health @healthgovau
- Fire & Rescue NSW @FRNSW
- Country Fire Service South Australia @CFSAlerts
- The City of Brisbane @brisbanecityqld
- The City of Sydney @CityofSydney
- The Australian Red Cross @RedCrossAU
Check Twitter’s blog for subscrition details: blog.twitter.com