Twitter files for an IPO: What it means to its users?

Twitter_new_logo_thumb.pngTwitter has always been secretive about its earnings and revenues. For many years, Twitter was not even attempting to make money but was gaining new users and also its place in the mainstream online culture. Today much of the news around the world is broken first on Twitter.

Twitter has taken the next step in its journey by filing for a ‘secret’ IPO. The public offering will make it a listed company and allow the public at large to buy shares into Twitter.

This is what Twitter’s official account tweeted:

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What does that signify for Twitter
Twitter might be secretive about it’s revenues but they are probably still below the billion dollar mark. That is why under US law they can file for a secret IPO (read more about that here). It also means that Twitter is making a lot of money from its sponsored ads feature and is confident of future revenues. It also means Twitter will NOT be bought by a larger company, at the least for many years now.

What should Twitter’s users expect?

  • Expect a lot more ads than there were before on Twitter. Currently sponsored posts on Twitter are few but effective but with not shareholders to answer to, they might get aggressive with those sponsored tweets.
  • If you are a Twitter user like me who does not have a verified sign, expect second class treatment. Twitter is going to introduce the best and the newest features to its verified celebrities. We can already see signs of it in with a new @mention filter Twitter introduced exclusively for verified users only.
  • Love your 3rd party app for Twitter? Do not expect that it will be around for too long. Twitter has already harmed the 3rd party ecosystem around its platform with new API rules that set strict limits. I think by next year Twitter will work very hard to kill of any 3rd party app that works on a mobile platform.
  • Finally, expect Twitter to re-design stuff. Expect more filters and more coherence to sometimes a mindless stream of tweets that can overwhelm users. Twitter will now have a lot of money to hire and buy the best.

What do you think about Twitter’s future as a publicly listed company? Do drop in your comments.