Twitter launches emergency alerts for phones

September 26, 2013 12:19:38 PM PDT
Twitter will soon provide a new service designed to help during an emergency.

By the end of the year, the Twitter Alerts program will allow police departments and groups like the Red Cross to send out tweets during an emergency through a special account.

Twitter says alerts will also be marked with an orange bell icon to differentiate them from regular tweets.

The move follows a feature called "lifeline", which Twitter launched in Japan last year. It underscores the services' growing role in delivering fast information in an emergency.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)