NEW YORK — The federal government is beefing up emergency cellphone alerts like the one used in New York to advertise a search for a bombing suspect earlier in September.

The Federal Communications Commission approved a measure Thursday that will let messages be up to four times longer than the current 90-character limit. Cellphone companies will have to support Spanish messages under the new rules. The changes will also let officials target messages more narrowly and include links in messages. The New York alert had an awkward phrasing, “See media for pic,” rather than a link to Ahmad Khan Rahami’s photo.

The FCC also says it’s seeking comments on how to attach photos inside actual alerts themselves.