Twitter launched a new alert system for emergencies and other important information back in September. This morning, the company announced that it is expanding into the UK and Ireland.
Nearly sixty accounts in the region have signed up to participate. These include 47 police forces in the UK, An Garda Síochána, the London Fire Brigade, the Mayor of London’s office, the Foreign Office, CEOP and the Environment Agency.
The system enables such accounts to highlight information deemed to be critical to followers. Tweets are marked as alerts with an orange bell icon.
Users who sign up for an accounts alerts will get notifications on their phones via SMS. iPhone and Android users will also get push notifications.
"While participating organisations choose what information merits a Twitter Alerts designation, this feature is intended for crisis, disaster and emergency communications," says Twitter's Steve Summers.
"We know from our users how important it is to be able to receive reliable information during times of crisis," he adds. "With that in mind, last year we announced Lifeline (a feature that helps Japanese users find emergency accounts during crises), and since then, we’ve been working on a related feature for people around the world."
You can see all the Twitter accounts that are participating in the alerts system, by region, here.