Five questions answered on Twitter’s plans to be listed on the stock market

We've confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned [initial public offering]."

Twitter has announced it plans to join the stock market. We answer five questions on the social networking site’s plans for stock market flotation.

How did the company announce its plans to join the stock market?

On Twitter of course. The company sent out a tweet saying "We've confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned [initial public offering]."

Twitter said little else about its flotation plans, refraining from giving a timing or price for the offering.

How much is Twitter worth?

Investors have valued the microblogging site at more than $10bn (£6.3bn).

But how does Twitter actually make money?

Mostly through advertising and companies paying for promoted tweets. These tweets post on people’s timeline, typically reaching 200 million active users, who alone send more than 500 million tweets a day.

According to advertising consultancy eMarketer, Twitter is on track to post $583m in revenue in 2013, up from $288m in 2012.

What affect do analysts think floating Twitter on the market will have for the company?

Analysts have said it could result in increased advertising because there could be a drive for increased advertising revenues post-flotation.

"There's a few issues [such as] how many revenue streams can be developed beyond just advertising, the impact of more people accessing the service via smartphones," said Colin Gillis, a New York-based technology specialist at BGC Partners told the BBC.

So why now have Twitter decided to float the company on the stock market?

Andrew Frank, social media expert at technology research company Gartner, speaking to the BBC offered some possible reasons: "[The IPO] gives its investors a way to get some of the money back that they put into the company at the beginning.

"It gives the employees a similar kind of event to reward them for the success they've had so far. And it gives Twitter itself extra funds to invest in new projects and innovation."

Photograph: Getty Images

Heidi Vella is a features writer for Nridigital.com

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Forget gaining £350m a week, Brexit would cost the UK £300m a week

Figures from the government's own Office for Budget Responsibility reveal the negative economic impact Brexit would have. 

Even now, there are some who persist in claiming that Boris Johnson's use of the £350m a week figure was accurate. The UK's gross, as opposed to net EU contribution, is precisely this large, they say. Yet this ignores that Britain's annual rebate (which reduced its overall 2016 contribution to £252m a week) is not "returned" by Brussels but, rather, never leaves Britain to begin with. 

Then there is the £4.1bn that the government received from the EU in public funding, and the £1.5bn allocated directly to British organisations. Fine, the Leavers say, the latter could be better managed by the UK after Brexit (with more for the NHS and less for agriculture).

But this entire discussion ignores that EU withdrawal is set to leave the UK with less, rather than more, to spend. As Carl Emmerson, the deputy director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, notes in a letter in today's Times: "The bigger picture is that the forecast health of the public finances was downgraded by £15bn per year - or almost £300m per week - as a direct result of the Brexit vote. Not only will we not regain control of £350m weekly as a result of Brexit, we are likely to make a net fiscal loss from it. Those are the numbers and forecasts which the government has adopted. It is perhaps surprising that members of the government are suggesting rather different figures."

The Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts, to which Emmerson refers, are shown below (the £15bn figure appearing in the 2020/21 column).

Some on the right contend that a blitz of tax cuts and deregulation following Brexit would unleash  higher growth. But aside from the deleterious economic and social consequences that could result, there is, as I noted yesterday, no majority in parliament or in the country for this course. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.