In fewer than 140 characters, Twitter Inc. tweeted that it has filed confidential paperwork to begin the process for its highly anticipated public offering, reports the Wall Street Journal. A Twitter IPO could be the most anticipated technology stock offering since Facebook went public in May 2012. An IPO would mark a business milestone for seven-year-old Twitter, which has more than 200 million active users and has created a global online communication culture phenomenon.
Despite Twitter’s popularity, the social network has yet to prove itself to be as big and as lasting as other tech giants like Google Inc. and Facebook Inc., say industry analysts. Twitter is valued to be more than $9 billion. Such a valuation puts Twitter well behind Facebook, which went public with a valuation of about $100 billion.
But problems with initial trades and doubts about Facebook’s ability to generate revenues helped push shares from an initial price of $38 to less than $20 in the first year of public availability. After struggling, Facebook shares hit a new all-time high last week and now trades about its IPO price.
Like Facebook, Twitter generates its revenues from advertisements, with businesses paying to promote their tweets in users’ timelines on personal computers and mobile devices. In its efforts to boost revenue generation, Twitter recently announced plans to acquire MoPub, a mobile advertising company, stating it would use their technology to offer advertisers real-time auctions for purchasing ads.
Twitter’s confidential filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission was made under the JOBS act, allowing small companies to keep their IPO documents private.