Twitter goes public for $10billion

The news that Twitter has gone public would be difficult to squeeze onto a tweet on the microblogging site with any clarity, but with more than 220million users the little blue bird has become so popular that a $10billion valuation has been attached to the firm. That sort of money will raise $1billion in cash for the firm and make at least one of the site’s founders a billionaire.

The strangest thing about the $10billion valuation isn’t that it’s attached to a microblogging website that appears to have very few avenues for generating revenue but that Twitter is not making profit. Since it went online in 2006, Twitter has brought the world countless important moments like Barack Obama’s election and millions of completely unimportant updates from celebrities and everyday folk alike. Companies, celebrities and individuals upload information to the site, some with a handful of followers, others like Lady Gaga with 40million interested in her every comment.

In the early days the site generated around 60,000 tweets a day. Today more than 400million tweets are generated each day which makes Twitter as mainstream as Facebook. Like Twitter, Facebook is also publically traded. Facebook became a publicly traded company in May 2012 and in its first year the share price dropped from $38 to around $26. With 1.06billion users, Facebook has more than four times the amount of users Twitter and it has more ways of making revenue from its users.

Twitter has evolved its service to include “verified” accounts for individuals, using hashtags to easily identify themes and incorporating news, but it’s essentially the same advertising free service that it’s always been. At the moment the wider media represent Twitter as a website where celebrities post comments they wish they hadn’t and anonymous users post death threats and other ill-advised comments. Perhaps this latest news will change opinions on microblogging.

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