On Twitter this week: Emergency Alerts and MagicRecs

Twitter has unveiled two new features that are expected to make big changes to the way people use its services. The first one is personalized recommendations through @MagicRecs and the second involves emergency alerts.

Twitter Alerts

What do people do when they can’t get to someone over the phone? Send them a text or WhatsApp message perhaps? And if it’s a pressing matter, desperately try Twitter, GTalk or Facebook maybe? Social networks and messengers have changed the way we communicate with each other over the past few years.

Twitter Alerts Step 1

And what better way to get to a large number of people than Twitter? The company has launched Alerts which will allow local, national and international organizations responsible for issuing important information to the public, to easily send out tweets marked with an orange bell, texts or push notifications in times of crisis.

How to sign up

You can visit this link for a complete list of US, Japanese and Korean institutions authorized to send Alerts to those who sign up for it.

Step 2

– The participating organization’s Twitter page will show a bell with a Be Prepared link
– Hit the link and a page with a prompt to activate notifications will come up
– Clicking on this offers a skippable option to enter your phone number for SMS alerts

Those who decide not to add their cell number will still receive alerts in their Twitter timeline. For push notifications, users who’ve subcribed are required to own an Android 4.1.6 or later/iOS 5.10 or higher device.

Step 3

Magic Recommendations

Lastly, are you bothered by the timeline that keeps getting updated when you’re not watching, thus ensuring you miss out on important headlines? The company’s been trying out a recommendations tool through the @MagicRecs account. It scans the content being retweeted or ‘favorited’ by people within your network and uses this to send tweets you may be interested in via push notifications.

How to disable Twitter push notifications

Open the official Twitter app on your Android or iPhone device and click on Me > Settings > Account. The account settings will contain a Notifications option. Simply select the accounts from which you want to receive or stop receiving messages. Even the type of alerts you wish to or don’t wish to get can be selected from here.

Simple?