This terse, very dry tweet set the social media world ablaze Thursday afternoon:
We've confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This Tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale.— Twitter (@twitter) September 12, 2013
You might call it the tweet that launched 1,000 business-advice articles, including quite a few advising Twitter on ways to avoid a rocky initial public offering like Facebook's in May 2012.According to Fortune, Twitter has already done one thing right: It chose to file a form that's considered confidential, which shields the company from embarrassment if it decides to back out.
Shel Holtz of Holtz Communication + Technology says Twitter doesn't really have to worry about avoiding Facebook's IPO path.
"The same people who were shaking their heads dismissively during the early days of falling prices following [Facebook's] IPO are now enthusiastic believers," he says. Indeed, Facebook's stock value sits at nearly $45 this Friday morning, more than six dollars a share higher than when the stock debuted on the NASDAQ. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said his company is better for the hardship it endured.
Still, Twitter is likely to try to avoid the weeks' worth of bad press that swirled about Facebook immediately after its IPO. Bloomberg reports that the main lesson Twitter learned from the public perception that Facebook's initial public offering was a failure is to avoid the hype that leads to an over-inflated valuation.
As for Twitter's announcement itself, PR pros and social media gurus praised the company's decision to use its own communication platform to announce its plans.
"It shouldn't surprise anyone that Twitter would use its own network and channel for such an announcement," business communicator Neville Hobson wrote on his blog. "Plus, the regulatory environment and rules on how you can make such announcements are far more relaxed now than they ever have been, where social media channels like Twitter are allowed in certain circumstances."
Of course, the other big question in the wake of the IPO announcement is just how much Twitter will change if and when it becomes a public company. Holtz says brands that rely on Twitter for customer service and outreach shouldn't worry too much.
"[Twitter's] profit strategy seems to be well in hand," he says. "The company and its growth are being well managed."
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