SOURCE: BlackRock, Inc.

BlackRock, Inc.

December 13, 2010 14:27 ET

iShares Announces Social Media Launch

New iShares Blog Makes ETF Experts Available to an Expanded Audience

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - December 13, 2010) - BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) today announced that its iShares® Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) business, the world's largest manager of ETFs, has launched a social media program to provide a deeper level of education for investment professionals. The latest addition is the iShares blog ( featuring input and opinions from some of its most experienced leaders including Russ Koesterich, iShares Chief Investment Officer; Noel Archard, Head of iShares Product for the Americas and Kevin Feldman, Managing Director, US iShares.

As with many other industries, social media has transformed the way that financial services companies interact in the investment world. iShares has always placed a significant value on the investment professional, and to further these partnerships recently announced a major commitment to its social media platform. Kevin Feldman, Managing Director, iShares at BlackRock, explained: "The majority of our clients are using these platforms and we want to be in that space with them. It's becoming an important way we can connect with our clients."

One of the major draws to social media for fund managers such as iShares is the speed with which information and valuable content can be transmitted and socialized with clients. iShares is now about to split their content into either bite-sized tweets or entire blog posts and distribute to those that sign up to follow them via Twitter or Facebook. As Kevin Feldman explains, "Clients can customize what information we publish and how they consume it. We want to be available to our customers beyond 'business hours' and social media allows us to connect with clients when they are ready to consume information."

iShares formed a digital group internally to help manage its social media initiative and creation of social content in early 2010. The group is a mix of people who have managed social marketing outside of financial services and also seasoned experts from the ETF business. This blend of expertise helps achieve a two-pronged goal of creating valuable content and engaging customers.

A key element of the program from the beginning has been listening to clients. Mr. Feldman said: "It was important to start listening first before launching the program and our agenda will continue to be developed based upon client feedback. The message from clients at this stage: "Very informative. Much appreciated."

About BlackRock
BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At September 30, 2010, BlackRock's AUM was $3.446 trillion. BlackRock offers products that span the risk spectrum to meet clients' needs, including active, enhanced and index strategies across markets and asset classes. Products are offered in a variety of structures including separate accounts, mutual funds, iShares® (exchange traded funds), and other pooled investment vehicles. BlackRock also offers risk management, advisory and enterprise investment system services to a broad base of institutional investors through BlackRock Solutions®. Headquartered in New York City, as of September 30, 2010, the firm has approximately 8,900 employees in 24 countries and a major presence in key global markets, including North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East and Africa. For
additional information, please visit the Company's website at

About iShares
iShares is the global product leader in exchange traded funds with over 460 funds globally across equities, fixed income and commodities, which trade on 19 exchanges worldwide. The iShares Funds are bought and sold like common stocks on securities exchanges. The iShares Funds are attractive to many individual and institutional investors and financial intermediaries because of their relative low cost, tax efficiency and trading flexibility. Investors can purchase and sell shares through any brokerage firm, financial advisor, or online broker, and hold the funds in any type of brokerage account. The iShares customer base consists of the institutional segment of pension plans and fund managers, as well as the retail segment of financial advisors and high net worth individuals.

Carefully consider the funds' investment objectives, risk factors, and charges and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the funds' prospectuses, which may be obtained by calling 1-800-iShares (1-800-474-2737) or by visiting Read the prospectus carefully before investing.

Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

Transactions in shares of the iShares Funds will result in brokerage commissions and will generate tax consequences. iShares Funds are obliged to distribute portfolio gains to shareholders. Shares of the iShares Funds may be sold throughout the day on the exchange through any brokerage account. However, shares may only be redeemed directly from a Fund by Authorized Participants, in very large creation/redemption units.

The iShares Funds ("Funds") are distributed by SEI Investments Distribution Co. ("SEI"). BlackRock Fund Advisors ("BFA") serves as the investment advisor to the Funds. BlackRock Fund Distribution Company ("BFDC") assists in the marketing of the Funds. BFA and BFDC are affiliates of BlackRock, Inc., none of which is affiliated with SEI.

© 2010 BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. iShares® is a registered trademark of BlackRock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. All other trademarks, servicemarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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