Chatter: Twitter going public
September 13, 2013 | Russ Martin | Comments
Twitter announced its IPO on its own service social media service on Thursday, though the nature of their filing keeps many details close-to-the-chest. Here’s what the media is saying about Twitter’s announcement .
The Wall Street Journal
If Twitter goes public soon (the exact date of the offering has yet to be set) it may be able to capitalize on the “buoyant market” for IPOs in the U.S., which is expecting to have seen 200 IPOs by the end of 2013, according to the Wall Street Journal. The challenge, the WSJ said, is to get advertisers to spend more on the network. While Twitter has an estimated revenue of $583 million, according to eMarketer, it’s still considered “experimental” by many marketers, according to the paper.
“The appeal for advertisers is more than the amount of revenue they’re getting at the moment because they don’t have very good products,” said Simon Mansell, chief executive of digital-advertising firm TBG and a Twitter ad partner.
Twitter is likely to push to acquire more mainstream users outside the technology and media fields as it nears IPO, Fast Company speculates. Though its not likely to release official user base numbers until the IPO, estimates put it over 200 million. Fast Company lists its user base as 550 million, while All Things Dee speculates 240 million. The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, has the number at a low end 200 million. Once it IPOs, expect investors, journalists and other industry watchers to closely follow the user base an indicator of its potential success. The Business Insider also suggested the social network’s numbers will be its biggest challenge as it moves towards its IPO.
“We’re not delivering the product as we should,” admits COO Ali Rowghani, acknowledging that Twitter can be an alien (and alienating) experience for first-time users. The simple things that power users love like hashtags, @replies, and homebrewed jargon, such as still inserting “RT” before someone else’s tweet instead of hitting the retweet button, are cryptic and techie. The noble goal: Make it so that a regular person can join Twitter and have a good time right off the bat.
There will almost certainly be more ads on Twittter once the company goes public and has to answer to revenue seeking investors each quarter, according to Buzzfeed. As Twitter prepares for its pre-IPO road show, Buzzfeed expects the company to focus on its position as a layer of the real time web. By doing so, it’s likely to appeal to brands in the real time marketing space.
Together, those pieces constitute Twitter’s big pitch, and the one it’ll be using in its IPO: It’s where people go to talk about TV, sports, politics, and the news. It’s created ad products that can be overlaid on events in real time, and which scale with popularity. It can contain and monetize the internet’s constant eruptions, including the unpredictable ones but especially the predictable ones.
Twitter’s recent string of acquisitions are telling of its intent moving forward towards its IPO. Time provided a look back at its most recent acquisitions, including the mobile real time advertising company MoPub and Bluefin Labs, a company that has helped Twitter tie together TV ad budgets and social media dollars.
Mobile-ad company MoPub, reportedly acquired for more than $300 million, will give Twitter the ability to offer real-time bidding on promoted tweets, thereby sending users more valuable, targeted ads and driving up the price Twitter is able to charge for them…Bluefin’s technology serves as the backbone of a new Twitter ad product that lets marketers identify users who are tweeting about a specific TV program, then send them promoted tweets tied to the commercials airing during that show. Just as important as boosting Twitter’s social TV repertoire, these buys deplete the capabilities of rivals like Facebook.