Coming soon to Facebook and Twitter: In-depth discussions of Zillow’s operating margins.
Blazing a trail for social media channels and earnings reports, the Seattle company said today that it plans to start taking earnings questions on its Facebook and Twitter accounts, in addition to its traditional earnings webcast — taking advantage of new SEC guidelines for disclosing material information on social media channels.
The digital real estate services company says it will be the first public company to accept earnings questions this way. We haven’t been able to find any others, but if anyone can dispute Zillow’s claim to this social media milestone, let us know.
[Update, Thursday: Zillow clarified that it will accept questions on Facebook and Twitter, but answer them on its conference call.]
The company’s move follows the SEC’s announcement earlier this month clarifying how companies can use social media and the web to disclose financial results and other information. The SEC’s new guidelines require companies to officially designate specific accounts as channels where they will post information for investors.
The rules were issued after an inquiry into Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ posting of Netflix usage stats on his Facebook account. Regulation Fair Disclosure, a.k.a. Regulation FD, requires companies to distribute information in a way that can be accessed equally by all investors.
Zillow says in a blog post, “While we likely won’t be able to answer every question asked via social media during our call, our CEO Spencer Rascoff will try to address common themes we see in the questions, as well as specific questions. We’ll also be taking questions in the traditional way, from those logged into the webcast.”