News / Economy

    Twitter to Go Public

    An icon for the Twitter application is seen on a mobile phone.
    An icon for the Twitter application is seen on a mobile phone.
    VOA News
    It only took 135 characters for Twitter to make big news. Fittingly, in a tweet sent Thursday, the company announced it was going public.

    The tweet read simply "We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This Tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale."

    Details of the initial public offering of stock aren’t known because Twitter is taking advantage of a law passed last year that allows companies with less than $1 billion in revenue to keep the details secret until the final weeks before the price of the stock is set.

    Some experts think the initial public offering, or IPO, will be sooner rather than later.

    "The market is hot and the end of the year is usually is a good time to go public," Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter told the Associated Press. "I think we will get to see the documents by Halloween [October 31] and the IPO will be done by Thanksgiving."

    Twitter started up just seven years ago and has already grown into a global social media powerhouse boasting some 200 million users. The short messaging service, which limits the size of messages to 140 characters, is also popular among heads of state, celebrities, athletes and journalists.

    The IPO has long been expected as the company has been recently focusing on advertising products in an effort to bolster revenue. While the IPO is big news, Twitter is still dwarfed by its social media titan Facebook, which went public last year in what was widely viewed as a debacle because of the perception the company was losing out on potential mobile ad revenue.

    Advertising represents the bulk of Twitter’s revenue, and research firm eMarketer estimated the company will generate $582.8 million in global ad revenue this year, up from $288.3 million in 2012. That number is expected to grow to $1.3 billion by 2015.

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