A new lifeline in Japan

Friday, 21 September 2012

This week our Tokyo team launched Lifeline. It’s a new feature for Japanese users that helps people there find critical information when they need it most: during moments of crisis like natural disasters, or when other communications services are difficult to reach.

To find and follow essential local accounts in Japan, people simply search their postal code on twitter.com. If there’s an earthquake in the Aobadai district of Yokohama, for instance, people can use Lifeline to find a variety of timely accounts — those tweeting about the earthquake and sharing updates from the district (Aobadai), city (Yokohama), and prefecture (Kanagawa) governments; they can also find accounts from local media and utility companies providing information about gas, water or electricity. Of course, Japanese users can also set up notifications to receive Tweets from these accounts on their mobile devices.

Lifeline is currently available only in Japan, where we have joined the Prime Minister’s Lifeline Commission and worked with local and regional governments to surface the best, most relevant accounts for several postal codes. Since Twitter often becomes a de facto lifeline during crises everywhere, we hope to eventually expand this functionality to more locations around the world.

Posted by Jinen Kamdar @jinen
Product Manager