Instagram adds support for AMBER Alerts to help locate missing kids

Instagram Amber Alert examples
Instagram Amber Alert examples (Image credit: Insagram)

What you need to know

  • Instagram is rolling out support for AMBER Alerts.
  • AMBER Alerts are sent when a child is missing.
  • Instagram says that alerts will be sent to people based on their IP address and location.

Instagram has announced the addition of support for AMBER Alerts, allowing users to see and share the vital messages for the first time. AMBER Alerts are issued to alert people of a missing child in the hope that they can be found more speedily.

In a move announced via the Meta blog, the company confirmed that the feature is now rolling out in the United States and other countries.

Today, we're bringing AMBER Alerts to Instagram for the first time. This feature was developed in partnership with organizations like the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the US, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, the National Crime Agency in the UK, the Attorney General's Office in Mexico, the Australian Federal Police and more.

If anyone receives an AMBER Alert they know that a search is underway in their specific area. Instagram says that alerts will be sent to people based on their IP address to ensure only those in the correct parts of the world will see them.

Users in multiple countries around the world will now begin to see AMBER Alerts when the need arises.

AMBER Alerts on Instagram will start rolling out today, and be fully available in the next couple of weeks in 25 countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Ecuador, Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Jamaica, Korea, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, South Africa, Taiwan, Ukraine, the UK, the United Arab Emirates and the US. We're working to expand and bring them to more countries.

Instagram is one of the best iPhone apps for sharing photos and that also means that millions of people around the world already have the app installed on their devices. If this new addition means that children can be located more easily, it's one that is very much welcome.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.