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Twitter, Inc. (Twitter) is a global platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time. Twitter is a real-time platform, where any user can create a Tweet and any user can follow other users. Each Tweet is limited to 140 characters of text, but can also contain rich media, including photos, videos and applications. The...

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Twitter hoping not to make a hash of flotation

Totes amazeballs! Twitter is set to float. #nosurprise

Microblogging giant Twitter is set to float in what will be the biggest initial public offering (IPO) since last year's market début of Facebook.

The company will be hoping that it won't be a case of #fail when it floats, like it was for Facebook, the social network leviathan.

Apart from being widely regarded as overpriced, the Facebook IPO also prompted an embarrassing trading snarl-up on the first day of dealings on NASDAQ, the North American Stock Dealers Automated Quotations exchange.

Not that much is known about Twitter's plans to float. The decision was announced, of course, via a tweet on Twitter, and as the site limits missives to 140 characters, there was not much room to fill in too many details.

Goldman Sachs is to be the lead underwriter, according to reports. Some media pundits have interpreted that as a deliberate snub to Morgan Stanley, which masterminded the Facebook flotation.

The market value of Twitter has recently been estimated at just over US$10bn. That's less than one-tenth of the market capitalisation of Facebook which, after the débâcle of its market début and subsequent sell-off, has recovered to hit an all-time high.

The problem for Twitter, as it has been to a certain extent for Facebook, is how to make money out its enormous popularity.

Twitter started in 2006 and only introduced advertising in 2010. As a private company, it is not obliged to publish accounts, but it will have to drum up some numbers ahead of its flotation.

“We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO,” the tweet announcing the proposed flotation said.

The use of the term “confidentially” suggests that the company is making its filing under the terms of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, which entitles companies with revenue of less than US$1bn in annual revenue to hold back on publishing revenue numbers for a while.

As “start-ups” go, Twitter must be the most famous company in the world that falls into that category.

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