One after another, social media companies are going public. It started with Facebook, followed by the social gaming company Zynga. Both companies floundered on Wall Street, but rumors on the web suggest that Twitter might soon follow suit.
Greencrest Capital, an analyst firm that specializes in studying companies that are about to go public, recently estimated that the popular social media website has a value of over $11 billion. That represents massive growth considering that the social media website was valued at $8 billion in July of 2011. Analysts at Greencrest Capital suggest that part of the success stems from the Facebook IPO, which caused Twitter’s shares to swell.
It’s still unclear whether Twitter CEOs intend to make the company public, or if this is all just a product of the rumor mill. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said in September of 2011, “We now have what can only be referred to as a truckload of money in the bank. We did that because we want to be in control of our destiny and grow the company the way we want to.”
Of course, a lot can change in three months, which is a veritable lifetime in the tech world. Greencrest Capital theorized that Twitter CEOs will prepare to take the company public sometime in 2014. As they bide their time, the big bosses will have time to examine Facebook and Zynga as they get pummeled by Wall Street. By learning from Facebook’s mistakes, Twitter could be poised for a better IPO next year.
Phil Libin, the chief executive of Evernote, is similarly wary of the current financial climate for public companies. The folks at Evernote plan to go public as well, but Libin said, “It’s not a pleasant experience right now to be a public company.”
Biding time seems to be the dominant strategy for tech businesses at the moment. The public will similarly have to bide its time for more news about a Twitter IPO. For a company that’s made $11 billion helping people share their thoughts, its CEOs are being tight-lipped about plans for 2014.
It’s hard to gauge what the supposed IPO would mean for content marketers because so much of it depends on the company’s success on Wall Street. If the IPO succeeds, then content marketers can probably look forward to bold expansion within the company as it explores new territory and expands in the foreign market. If Wall Street turns out to be a rocky road, then executives may have to resort to more conservative, time-tested strategies to recuperate revenue.
The IPO might also open up sticky privacy issues. Many users feared that Facebook would harvest users’ information to meet the harsh expectations on Wall Street. If tweets and online profiles are similarly mined for information, then it could present a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it would make it easier for content marketers to accurately target advertisements at specific audiences. On the other, users might spend less time tweeting about their favorite products and more time complaining about the unwanted privacy breaches.
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