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Press release from Business Wire

iShares Leads the Way in Social Media

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>kasina Study Rates iShares #1 Among Asset Managers in Social Media</i> </p>

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

iShares Leads the Way in Social Media16:51 EDT Wednesday, May 16, 2012 SAN FRANCISCO (Business Wire) -- BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK) announced that its iShares Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) business, the world's largest manager of ETFs, was named the #1 asset manager using social media, according to a study released today by the financial marketing services firm, kasina. The study evaluated 53 investment managers and emphasized how each engaged with advisors, policyholders and investors. Rankings were based on an analysis of the availability of content, quality of that content and user experience on five social media platforms, including blogs, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. BlackRock was also recognized with a #1 ranking for its LinkedIn program. “The results of the kasina study recognize our ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of sophisticated investors in an increasingly digital world,” said Eileen Loustau, Head of iShares Digital and Social Marketing at BlackRock. “Social media has allowed iShares to create a dialogue with financial advisors and end investors in a way like never before, but it's not enough to just have a social presence -- you need to listen, respond and provide value. From offering the latest insights on the markets to demystifying some of our industry's most challenging issues and answering questions in real-time, we view social media as critical to our ability to be a resource for today's sophisticated investors.” Recognizing that advisors and investors were increasingly looking to social media platforms for information, iShares started focusing their efforts on social media in late 2010. Today their anchor property, the critically-acclaimed blog, iSharesBlog.com, distributes educational content, original infographics, market commentary and a diverse range of videos on a daily basis. iShares has been able to extend the dialogue and further the reach of their content through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. iShares recently used social media to help explain the often misunderstood process of ETF creation and redemption through a six-minute animated video called The Story of ETF Creation. Watch The Story of ETF Creation from iSharesETFs on YouTube “The creation and redemption process and the liquidity it can provide are critical to understanding the benefits of ETFs but despite our best efforts to explain it through traditional media, we often found that people were still confused,” said Loustau. “After developing a short animated video that explained creation and redemption through a simple metaphor of a flower shop we were then able to distribute it via our social media networks and create a virtual ‘a-ha' moment within our community of followers.” To date, The Story of ETF Creation has received more than 10,000 views and was recently recognized by the Financial Communications Society. In addition to the #1 ranking from kasina, iShares was recently named by Forbes as one of the "Eight Financial Service Companies That Get Social Media” based on a report by Corporate Insight and Investment News included the iShares Twitter feed in the “20 Twitter Feeds All Financial Advisors Should Follow.” Follow iShares: iShares Blog iSharesETFs on Facebook iSharesETFs on YouTube @iSharesETFs on Twitter About BlackRock BlackRock is a leader in investment management, risk management and advisory services for institutional and retail clients worldwide. At March 31, 2012, BlackRock's AUM was $3.684 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 March 31, 2012, the firm has approximately 9,900 employees in 27 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 www.blackrock.com. About iShares iShares is the global product leader in exchange traded funds with over 500 funds globally across equities, fixed income and commodities, which trade on 20 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 www.iShares.com. 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. There can be no assurance that an active trading market for shares of an ETF will develop or be maintained. The iShares Funds ("Funds") are distributed by BlackRock Investments, LLC (together with its affiliates, “BlackRock”). BlackRock is not affiliated with kasina. The iShares Funds are not sponsored, endorsed or issued by Barclays Capital Inc., nor does this company make any representation regarding the advisability of investing in the Funds. BlackRock is not affiliated with the company listed above. iS-7230-0512 * Not FDIC Insured * No Bank Guarantee * May Lose Value BlackRock, Inc.Christine Hudacko, 415-670-2687christine.hudacko@blackrock.comDiane Henry, 415-670-4567diane.henry@blackrock.com