Business, Software Programs

Zillow First to Field Earnings Questions Via Twitter

Zillow [NASDAQ:Z] is without a social company, the consider it to be part of their DNA. They have always welcomed users to communicate with them on Twitter via @zillow where people can contact them about almost anything, including, it appears earnings announcements and Q&A sessions that follow.

In an official blog, the Zillow team stated,
"Now we?re taking our love of all things social to our investors, as we take advantage of the Securities and Exchange Commission?s April 2 announcement and designate our Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as this blog, as channels where we can post information that may be important to investors.

Beyond that, we?re excited to announce today that we?re the first company planning to take questions via social media during our earnings call on May 7. Now the investor community can connect with Zillow by Tweeting questions to @zillow and using the hashtag #ZEarnings, or by posting a question on our Facebook page."

Their CEO, Spencer Rascoff, tweeted about this announcement yesterday and potentially gives investors the opportunity to ask questions that they otherwise would never get answered. Admittedly, however, there are some drawbacks to such a way of answering people’s questions as it allows them to filter people’s earnings questions and concerns. During an earnings call with analysts, however, there is less of an opportunity to filter people’s questions as they are openly asked and answers are expected to be given regardless of the difficulty.

With the addition of Twitter and Facebook to the fray as a result of the SEC announcement, we will likely see other companies following in Zillow’s footsteps. However we’re not entirely sure that this is necessarily an entirely good thing for investors. While we can agree that many analysts may not have the best questions or insights, the problem with a social media involved Q&A means that there’s a better opportunity to censor the questions and avoid tough questions that sometimes need to be asked.

Either way, this is great PR for Zillow, however their stock is down 2% today. We’re not sure if its as a result of the announcement or because Zillow reports that housing sales are slowing, which could potentially mean that they get less business and traffic to their site.