Facebook’s ‘Safety Check’ feature tells friends if you are safe

The 2011 earthquake and tsunami - which affected more than 12.5 million people and resulted in the evacuation of more than 400,000 people according to the Japanese Red Cross - inspired Facebook to build such a tool. (Courtesy of Facebook)

The social network giant Facebook has introduced on Thursday a new feature called Safety Check that allows users to inform their friends and families that they are safe in the wake of a major natural disaster or other crisis.

“In times of disaster or crisis, people turn to Facebook to check on loved ones and get updates. It is in these moments that communication is most critical both for people in the affected areas and for their friends and families anxious for news,” said Facebook on a blogpost.

“We want to provide a helpful tool that people can use when major disasters strike,” added the statement.

How it works:

Once activated, and based on a user’s “current city” and last checked-in location and if one happens to be in an affected area, Facebook would send a notification asking if the user is safe.

The user then can click the “I’m Safe” tab and his friends’ list will be immediately notified through update feed.

If the user has other friends in the affected area, he can receive a notification for each one that have marked themselves as safe.

The 2011 earthquake and tsunami - which affected more than 12.5 million people and resulted in the evacuation of more than 400,000 people according to the Japanese Red Cross - inspired Facebook to build such a tool.

“Our engineers in Japan took the first step toward creating a product to improve the experience of reconnecting after a disaster,” said the blogpost.

“They built the Disaster Message Board to make it easier to communicate with others. They launched a test of the tool a year later and the response was overwhelming.”

SHOW MORE
Last Update: 19:01 KSA 22:01 - GMT 19:01
Top