Twitter wants to fly with billion-dollar IPO

Twitter wants to fly with billion-dollar IPO

SAN FRANCISCO - Twitter on Thursday unveiled plans to pump up the globally popular one-to-many messaging service with a US$1 billion (S$1.25 billion ) stock market debut.

The initial public offering (IPO) is expected to be the most sought-after since Facebook in May 2012, a listing that faced numerous glitches on the Nasdaq and which saw the company's share price slump before recovering this year.

Twitter outlined its plans in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, providing the the first public insights into the San Francisco company that has rocketed to Internet stardom since its launch in 2006.

"Social media is red hot," said Internet analyst Lou Kerner. "Twitter is front and centre benefiting from market enthusiasm for all things social, and remarkably strong metrics."

In the regulatory filing, Twitter disclosed that it had 218 million active users as of June 30 in a 44 per cent increase from the same point a year earlier. It reported that it lost almost US$80 million on nearly US$317 million in revenue in 2012.

Twitter brought in US$253.6 million in revenue in the first half of this year, but remained in the red with a loss of about US$69 million, the company said in the filing.

Some noted that Twitter would be close to breaking even this year if it hadn't spent slightly more than US$67 million on social television analytics firm BlueFin Labs.

Forrester analyst Zachary Reiss-Davis sees the capital-raising move by Twitter as a sign the company is intent on improving ways people enjoy content on its platform and how marketers connect with users.

"Users should be happy about this," Reiss-Davis said.

"It looks like Twitter is looking at how to enrich the experience and it understands that to build a successful service they have to create something people like and want to come back to and spend time on."

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