Street performers: Like them on Facebook

It was a real signal about the spread of social media that during the Microsoft Convergence conference in New Orleans last month, the street acrobatic group, Dragon Master Showcase, had a sign "Like us on Facebook." That might even be more of a signal about the spread of social media than this week's announcement by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC said that companies can utilize outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to announce key information in compliance with Regulation Fair Disclosure. The major proviso is that companies must inform investors about which media will be used and that does not seem like a difficult burden to meet. Facebook is emerging as a business platform and I think we will see a major shift to it as a communications medium and market place where business is actually conducted over the next two years (and maybe sooner). This seems like a very reasonable guideline. It's no different than informing investors that information will be available via a newspaper or a broadcast medium. As long as people know where to look for it, it's a fair way of doing things. The SEC's announcement followed an inquiry after Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had a post on his personal Facebook page stating that Netflix’s monthly online viewing had exceeded one billion hours for the first time. No charges were brought. So public companies can use social media just as street performers can have a "Like Us" sign next to the tip bucket. Last modified on Sunday, 16 June 2013
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