Coming soon to UAE: New Instagram feature to flag missing children in users' region

'Amber Alerts' will include details of the child, including the picture, description and location of suspected abduction

By Reuters

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Published: Sat 4 Jun 2022, 11:26 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Jun 2022, 12:44 PM

Instagram has rolled out a new feature called 'Amber Alert' to help raise awareness of missing children in the user's region.

The feature has been launched in the United States and will soon be available in other countries, including the UAE.

The alerts will include details of the missing child, including the picture, description and location of the suspected abduction. The alert is designed to be shared by users to help raise awareness so the missing children can be found with the power of social media.

The director of trust and safety at Meta, Emily Vacher, says "We know that the chances of finding a missing child increase when more people are on the lookout, especially in the first few hours. With this update, if an Amber Alert is activated by law enforcement and you are in the designated search area, the alert will now appear in your Instagram feed."

Vacher said in her blog that the alerts were "rare and specific to the search area", and if users get an alert through Instagram, it means there already is an ongoing active search to find the missing child.


Facebook launched Amber Alert in 2015, while Google rolled out the Search and Maps tools in 2012, similar to Amber Alerts.

Instagram intends to use the user's city, IP address and location services to ensure the alerts are targeted correctly.

The update was developed in partnership with National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Michelle DeLaune, president and CEO of the centre said, "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."

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