2:00pm Sunday 19th October 2014
OXFORD Mail readers can now sign up to get major breaking news alerts sent direct to their mobile phones with a new service using Whatsapp.
The free service is believed to be a first for a British newspaper using the popular messaging app and readers can subscribe to receive either alerts for news or sport or both categories.
The beauty is that the alerts come straight to you so you are always up to date.
All you have to do is make sure you have Whatsapp downloaded on your phone and send us a text to subscribe.
Whatsapp is one of the fastest growing social media platforms with an estimated 500m users worldwide and the Oxford Mail has chosen it because it works across all smartphone platforms, including iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry.
Subscribers will get a morning bulletin of our top stories, any breaking news alerts and pictures, and a summary in the evening of that day's most popular stories online.
Assistant Editor Jason Collie said: “This is an exciting new offering for our readers because it delivers the news directly to them within seconds of us sending an alert.
“People are increasingly reading their news on the go on their phones and this is just a natural fit.
“During our trials it was announced James Constable was leaving Oxford United and so readers knew this instantly after our Whatsapp alert rather than catching up with the news later through Twitter or Facebook.
“It's not designed to replace either of those services but will complement them for people who want to know the major breaking stories of the day immediately.
“However, readers don't need to worry that we will be bombarding them with messages throughout the day. There will only be the two bulletins a day plus only major breaking stories.
“It is likely to evolve over time with different uses because one of the things we discovered during the trial was that alerts about major traffic problems were helpful for readers to dodge any jams.”
Story links contained within the alerts will be for our phone friendly mobile site rather than the full oxfordmail.co.uk site.
Mr Collie added he was hoping readers would also use Whatsapp to send in their news stories and pictures.
The Oxford Mail service uses the broadcast function so readers' details will be kept secret from other users. The Oxford Mail will also not share readers' information with other companies.
THE Oxford Mail's new Whatsapp service is free to our readers and takes just a few seconds to join.
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