Instagram's Newest Feature Could Save the Lives of Thousands of Children The social media platform is partnering with Amber Alerts to feature in-feed integration of information to users.

By Emily Rella

SOPA Images | Getty Images

The power of social media is that it allows us to spread breaking, important and interesting information with the power of one click — for better or for worse.

Instagram, which is often criticized for having filters and other photo-editing tools that breed unrealistic beauty standards for the masses, is harnessing that power for good in a potentially life-saving way thanks to its newest update.

The app will now feature Amber Alerts directly on users' feeds, and users can also share the notices to their followers via direct messages.

Amber Alert stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response plan, and it allows authorities to release information about child abductions as quickly as possible to the masses in the surrounding areas in hopes of finding and saving the missing child or children.

As of May 1, 2022, 1,114 children have been recovered through the use of the Amber Alert system, which launched in 1996.

Related: 15 Ways to Optimize Your Instagram Profile

The way Instagram's integration will work will be similar to the Amber Alert feature that appears on users' iPhones when they are located in a certain area. Instagram users whose phones are located in a designated search area when law enforcement releases an Amber Alert will see the alert on their Instagram feed as soon as the alert is initiated.

Instagram said it would also take into account what users list their current city as on their profiles if location services are turned off.

"Instagram is a platform based on the power of photos, making it a perfect fit for the AMBER Alert program," Michelle DeLaune, president and CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, said in a statement. "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."

The alert will feature a photo of the missing child and details about the abduction, a smart move for the app given that the alert will look different than the typical feed posts that most users see, something that is sure to grab their attention in a jarring way.

Related: 7 Instagram Accounts That Inspire the Entrepreneurial Journey

Instagram, which is a part of Meta, will join sister company Facebook in posting these Amber Alerts — Facebook has been posting them since 2015.

The new rollout began in the U.S. on June 1 and is expected to reach 25 countries globally total in "the coming weeks," including Mexico, the U.K., Canada and Ukraine.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

'It's Getting Worse By the Week': Kevin O'Leary Issues Grave Warning About Commercial Real Estate Industry

The "Shark Tank" star spoke to impending devaluation of stocks in the industry on FOX Business' "Varney & Co."

Business News

These Great-Grandparents Booked 51 Back-to-Back Cruises Because It's 'Cheaper Than a Retirement Home'

Retirees Marty and Jess Ansen hopped on a cruise ship nearly two years ago and never left.

Business News

Walgreens' Battle Over High-Tech Cooler Doors Heats Up

The lawsuit, initially filed in June, is seeking $200 million in damages.

Business News

'Beware': Tom Hanks Warns of AI Danger After Advertisement Uses His Likeness Without Permission

The actor shared a screenshot of the false advertisement to his 9.5 million Instagram followers.


It's a Great Time Make Money With a Podcast. Industry Experts Tell You How.

A panel of podcast experts outlines the most effective strategies for growing your audience and your revenue.