For the past several decades, we’ve learned of impending severe weather from a cranky buzz that interrupts our television or radio programming. The Weather Channel now wants to turn that into metaphorical buzz on social networks.
Its Weather.com website, which gets more unique visitors than Twitter, launched a new feature today–its first that utilizes Facebook’s Open Graph–that shows users which of their Facebook friends live in areas where there are severe weather alerts. Users can share the appropriate alerts with those friends by posting on their Facebook Timelines.
The feature is only available on Weather.com for now, but EVP of Digital Product Cameron Clayton tells Fast Company the alerts will also roll out on mobile apps soon.
“You don’t really care who tells you the power is out and there’s a hurricane coming,” Clayton says of the new feature. “We’re not trying to replace [National Weather Service alerts] at all, we’re trying to augment that with a way to check on your family and friends as quickly as possible.”