Five questions answered on Twitter’s bid to raise $1bn from the stock market

Twitter has revealed plans to try and raise $1bn (£619m) in its stock market debut. We answer five questions on Twitter’s stock market flotation plans.

Why is Twitter looking to raise $1bn from the stock market?

Despite major success seven-year-old Twitter has never made a profit.

Its revenue has grown from just $28m in 2010 to $317m by the end of 2012. However, in the first six months of 2013 it made a loss of $69m.

Do analysts think Twitter will get a good response?

Yes. Internet analyst Lou Kerner speaking to the BBC said:

Social media is red hot.

Twitter is front and centre benefiting from market enthusiasm for all things social, and remarkably strong metrics.

Where does Twitter’s revenue come from?

The social networking sites finances have been revealed for the first time thanks to the stock market filing.

It reveals that around 85 per cent of Twitter's revenue last year came from ad sales, while the rest was from licensing its data.

A significant slice of its ad revenue comes from mobile devices.

As of 2013, over 65 per cent of the company's advertising revenue was generated from mobile devices.

What other Twitter related facts have been revealed?

The stock market filing revealed that Twitter now has 218 million monthly users and that 500 million tweets are sent a day.

More than 75 per cent of Twitter users accessed the site from their mobile phone during that same time period.

It also revealed that co-founder Evan Williams has a 12 per cent stake and other co-founder Jack Dorsey a 4.9 per cent stake in Twitter, which could mean they could stand to take significant sums from the company's stock market listing.

Benchmark Capital's Peter Fenton, an early investor in the company, is the second-biggest shareholder, with 6.7 per cent of shares.

So, overall is Twitter’s stock market plans good news for its users?

"Users should be happy about this," said Zachary Reiss-Davis, an analyst with Forrester told the BBC.

"It looks like Twitter is looking at how to enrich the experience and it understands that to build a successful service, they have to create something people like and want to come back to and spend time on."


Around 85 per cent of Twitter's revenue last year came from ad sales. Photo: Getty

Heidi Vella is a features writer for

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Commons Confidential: Fearing the Wigan warrior

An electoral clash, select committee elections as speed dating, and Ed Miliband’s political convalescence.

Members of Labour’s disconsolate majority, sitting in tight knots in the tearoom as the MP with the best maths skills calculates who will survive and who will die, based on the latest bad poll, observe that Jeremy Corbyn has never been so loyal to the party leadership. The past 13 months, one told me, have been the Islington rebel’s longest spell without voting against Labour. The MP was contradicted by a colleague who argued that, in voting against Trident renewal, Corbyn had defied party policy. There is Labour chatter that an early general election would be a mercy killing if it put the party out of its misery and removed Corbyn next year. In 2020, it is judged, defeat will be inevitable.

The next London mayoral contest is scheduled for the same date as a 2020 election: 7 May. Sadiq Khan’s people whisper that when they mentioned the clash to ministers, they were assured it won’t happen. They are uncertain whether this indicates that the mayoral contest will be moved, or that there will be an early general election. Intriguing.

An unguarded retort from the peer Jim O’Neill seems to confirm that a dispute over the so-called Northern Powerhouse triggered his walkout from the Treasury last month. O’Neill, a fanboy of George Osborne and a former Goldman Sachs chief economist, gave no reason when he quit Theresa May’s government and resigned the Tory whip in the Lords. He joined the dots publicly when the Resolution Foundation’s director, Torsten Bell, queried the northern project. “Are you related to the PM?” shot back the Mancunian O’Neill. It’s the way he tells ’em.

Talk has quietened in Westminster Labour ranks of a formal challenge to Corbyn since this year’s attempt backfired, but the Tories fear Lisa Nandy, should the leader fall under a solar-powered ecotruck selling recycled organic knitwear.

The Wigan warrior is enjoying favourable reviews for her forensic examination of the troubled inquiry into historic child sex abuse. After Nandy put May on the spot, the Tory three-piece suit Alec Shelbrooke was overheard muttering: “I hope she never runs for leader.” Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan, the Thelma and Louise of Tory opposition to Mayhem, were observed nodding in agreement.

Select committee elections are like speed dating. “Who are you?” inquired Labour’s Kevan Jones (Granite Central)of a stranger seeking his vote. She explained that she was Victoria Borwick, the Tory MP for Kensington, but that didn’t help. “This is the first time you’ve spoken to me,” Jones continued, “so the answer’s no.” The aloof Borwick lost, by the way.

Ed Miliband is joining Labour’s relaunched Tribune Group of MPs to continue his political convalescence. Next stop: the shadow cabinet?

Kevin Maguire is Associate Editor (Politics) on the Daily Mirror and author of our Commons Confidential column on the high politics and low life in Westminster. An award-winning journalist, he is in frequent demand on television and radio and co-authored a book on great parliamentary scandals. He was formerly Chief Reporter on the Guardian and Labour Correspondent on the Daily Telegraph.

This article first appeared in the 27 October 2016 issue of the New Statesman, American Rage