Twitter announced late on Thursday 12th September that it has filed a confidential form stating they are going public.
The confidential filing – revealed, naturally, in a tweet on the company's official account – sets into motion one of the most anticipated initial public offerings in tech history. It has also been one of the most coyly sidestepped topics by the company's executives.
The company's decision to publicly announce the IPO lays to rest questions about its intentions to go public, but its decision to file a stealth S-1 effectively raises many more, the chief questions among them: How much revenue does Twitter generate? What will Twitter price its shares at? How much is the company actually worth?
According to Rao, Twitter is currently trading at around $18-$19 on the private market and he expects that it will price slightly higher than that when it does go public, thanks in part to growing confidence in Facebook and the Internet IPO market in general. The company claims 200 million users sending over 400 million tweets daily, nearly 60% of those through mobile devices like smartphones.
According to Mashable earlier this summer, Costolo said he objected to "short-term thinking" about revenues, and the company is thought to have less than $1bn in revenues.
Despite its reach, many have found deducing the company's value to be difficult. In January, when the investment firm BlackRock bought a stake, Twitter was estimated to be worth $9bn; by May, estimates of Twitter's value had ballooned to $10.5bn, according to GSV Capital Corp.
Twitter is the last in its class to go public. Other big media companies, including Linkedin and Facebook, already command billions of dollars of value in the public markets. Linkedin is worth $32bn in stock while Facebook's market value is $108bn.
On Wednesday Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook, was asked at a Tech Crunch conference whether he had any advice for Twitter when it goes public. He said that the IPO process "is actually not that bad."
As a public company, Twitter will be under pressure to show innovative ideas to make money. One analyst believed the company could take its cue from Facebook, which eased advertising into the social stream of its users and raised its revenues as a result.
If Twitter manages to find a sustainable business model, some analysts believe the company has a better chance in targeting its ad efforts to businesses rather than charging consumers.
What do you think about Twitter going public? Do you think they will manage to maintain a sustainable business model? Or you think consumers will start getting charged? Share your opinion with us!
Twitter's IPO Filing: What It Means.Mashable. 12/09/13