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.
- Sign up now: 07767 417704
THE Oxford Mail's new Whatsapp service is free to our readers and takes just a few seconds to join.
- Download Whatsapp to your smartphone and ensure Notifications are switched on
- Save our Whatsapp number 07767 417704 in your phone as Oxford Mail Whatsapp
- Text your full name and either NEWS, SPORT or NEWS & SPORT depending on which alerts you want to 07767 417704. We need those details to ensure you get the alerts you want
- Once we've added you to our broadcast list, you're good to go
- Our top stories:
5:18pm Friday 27th March 2015
THE family of missing Oxford woman Emily Stiff have been told about the discovery of a woman's body in the Thames this afternoon.
2:44pm Friday 27th March 2015
A FORMER headteacher due to be sentenced for molesting young boys was the man found dead in the Thames on Tuesday, it has emerged today.
8:59am Friday 27th March 2015
POLICE feared there could be more victims after 10 people were last night in custody after a series of anti-slavery raids.
5:42pm Friday 27th March 2015
A man accused of burning down council offices in South Oxfordshire has been deemed fit enough to enter pleas.
Two lanes closed southbound on M40 between Thame and Watlington junctions after car hits central reservation
5:05pm Friday 27th March 2015
ONE person was taken to the John Radcliffe hospital this afternoon after a crash on the M40 closed two lanes of traffic.
4:00pm Friday 27th March 2015
TWO men accused of conspiracy to steal from a city centre jewellers have appeared in Oxford Magistrates' Court.