With more than a billion active users, it sometimes feels like the world and its mother is on Facebook. While this can be at times frustrating, it can also be pretty handy for checking in with loved ones you might not otherwise get to talk to. You don’t even have to interact with them to scope out their updates and know how they’re doing.
Facebook is taking this behaviour to the next level with a new feature called Safety Check. Designed specifically for major disasters, Safety Check only comes into play when users are detected as being near or potentially affected by a crisis.
If Facebook determines you’re in the danger zone, it will ask you if you’re safe. By clicking ‘I’m safe,’ or ‘I’m not in the area,’ Facebook registers you as alive and kicking and lets your network know you’re okay via the notification tray.
On the flip side, if you hear about something terrible on the news and are unsure if anyone you know is nearby, Facebook can offer you a list of friends potentially affected by the event as well as a count on those that have checked in as ‘safe’ and those that haven’t.