Twitter IPO: 6 Interesting Facts

Twitter reveals it seeks to raise $1 billion, plus offers details on its users, risk factors, profits and losses in documents filed for its initial public offering.

Kristin Burnham

October 4, 2013

3 Min Read
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 10 IT Leaders You Should Follow On Twitter

10 IT Leaders You Should Follow On Twitter

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Twitter's initial public offering has been one of the most anticipated stock sales since Facebook went public last year. The company finally made its IPO documents public Thursday, revealing details about its revenue, executive pay and business growth. It seeks to raise at least $1 billion.

Twitter first announced in September that it would go public, but took advantage of a law that allows companies with less than $1 billion in revenue to keep IPO documents confidential until it is ready to present to investors. Although Twitter didn't select an exchange in the filing, the company reportedly will trade under the symbol TWTR.

In a letter included in the filing, Twitter Cofounder Jack Dorsey wrote that the company will continue to focus on its goal of free-flowing information. "The mission we serve as Twitter, Inc. is to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly without barriers. Our business and revenue will always follow that mission in ways that improve -- and do not detract from -- a free and global conversation."

[ Twitter is on a roll. Read 4 Ways Twitter Is Beating Facebook. ]

Here's a look at the most interesting details from Twitter's S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including information on its user base, risk factors, profits and losses.

1. Twitter Has A Strong User Base

In early 2010, Twitter reported that it had 30 million users. That number had grown to 218 million users by June, with more than three-quarters located outside the United States. The company reported its fastest-growing markets are in Argentina, France, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. It noted that it faces a challenge breaking into the China market, where Twitter is blocked.

2. Boredom Is A Risk Factor

Twitter says its biggest risk factor is that users won't remain engaged with the service. According to the filing: "If people do not perceive our products and services to be useful, reliable and trustworthy, we may not be able to attract users or increase the frequency of their engagement with our platform and the ads that we display."

3. Ads Rule Twitter's Revenue

Eighty-five percent of Twitter's revenue comes from ads; specifically Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts and Promoted Trends, the company reported. The remaining 15% comes from licensing agreements that give companies better access to its tweet stream.

4. Twitter Is Not Consistently Profitable

According to the documents, Twitter generated $317 million in revenue in 2012 and reports $254 million in revenue in the first six months of 2013. Although those numbers look promising, the company hasn't always been profitable: It lost $128 million in 2011, $80 million in 2012 and reported a net loss of $69 million in the first six months of this year.

5. Twitter Is More Mobile Than Facebook

From April to June, 75% of Twitter's users accessed the service from mobile devices, compared to 66% in the same three months in 2012, the company said. In addition, 65% of its ad revenue came from mobile. Facebook, in comparison, gets 41% of its ad revenue from mobile devices.

6. Executives Will Get Rich

Twitter's Evan Williams, one of the company's founders, owns 12% of the company, valued at a cool $1.2 billion. Jack Dorsey, another cofounder, owns stock valued at about $483 million. Dick Costolo, Twitter's CEO, was paid $11.5 million in 2012, which included $8.4 million in stock.

About the Author(s)

Kristin Burnham

Senior Editor,

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