Twitter's initial public offering (IPO) filing has now been made public, laying bare all of the micro-blogging service's revenue, losses, user numbers and shareholder details. It hopes to raise $1bn from shareholders when it goes to market later this year.
The S-1 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing reveals both Twitter's revenue and operating loss have increased in recent quarters as the firm's user base extends beyond 218 million monthly active users and 100 million daily active users.
For the first half of 2013, Twitter's revenue shot up by 107 percent to $253.6m, but its net loss for the same period increased – albeit to a lesser degree – by 41 percent to $69.3m.
Twitter says that the vast majority of its income comes from advertising in the form of sponsored tweets, sponsored accounts and sponsored trends and also garners a very attractive 65 percent of its advertising revenue from mobile devices.
Investors are keenly focused on mobile revenue, with Facebook bearing the brunt of a mercurial set of investors as it initially struggled to convince them that it could make money from mobile platforms following its 2012 IPO.
Last month Twitter made a significant acquisition, buying mobile advertising firm MoPub in a clear message to potential investors that its focus remains on mobile revenue.
Pivotal Research Group analyst Brian Weiser told Reuters that Twitter's losses are a "non-issue". He said: "It would have been a surprise if they had a profit. Here's the number that really matters. It's the revenue per customer. The question is how much is the typical commitment they're getting from advertisers at this time." Reuters calculates Twitter's revenue per user from Q2 2013 as 64 cents, which compares with Facebook's $1.60.
As with any SEC filing, Twitter was obliged to speak of any areas that could pose a threat to its business. It highlighted restrictive government regulations, bad press from website outages as well as search engine algorithm changes as possible future problems.
"We compete against many companies to attract and engage users and for advertiser spend, including companies with greater financial resources and substantially larger user bases, such as Facebook (including Instagram), Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Yahoo!," it said.
The company will float on the stock market under the symbol TWTR, a strong reminder of the service's original name from 2006, Twittr.
just setting up my twttr— Jack Dorsey (@jack) March 21, 2006
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