Facebook has partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to bring Amber Alerts to its millions of users. The announcement was made at a press conference yesterday, the day before the 15th anniversary of the tragic abduction of Amber Hagerman, who the alert system is named after.
Each state, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington D.C. has its own Amber Alert page. Facebook users can now sign up to receive the alerts for their geographic location. It appears the system has already been put to good use in Roanoke, VA, where a 12-year-old was safely returned to her family.
According to the Wall Street Journal, MySpace had a similar program years ago. But the explosion in social network use makes the landscape for this program much different. Facebook is donating 500 million advertising impressions to promote the program.