Today Facebook announced yet another new feature. Unlike many of the updates from Facebook this one is actually going to be very useful and will likely be a big hit. The new feature is named “Safety Check” and it is designed to help people tell their loved ones that they are ok, primarily following a major disaster.
In many cases when something like an earthquake, hurricane, or other disaster strikes it is difficult or impossible to communicate with family. Fortunately Facebook is working to make that problem a thing of the past with the new Safety Check. Basically it works by sending a notification to anyone that is near a significant disaster and asking if they are ok, the notifications are being tailored so they should only be sent to people that were actually affected.
When a user receives the notification they can quickly select “I’m safe” or “I’m not in the area” and friends and family will automatically be alerted. The entire idea came about following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and Facebook says they’re hoping this will be revolutionary in the post disaster recovery effort. The feature is available now and is available to everyone worldwide, but it is unlikely we’ll see any results from it until some sort of disaster strikes.