Twitter's $1 billion IPO shows its face, reveals 215 million monthly active users

Twitter IPO
Twitter to take on the world and Wall Street

Twitter, like a tweet from Miley Cyrus, moves quickly. Today the microblogging platform made its Form S-1 filing - submitted to the SEC for its IPO - public. This comes less than a month after Twitter announced it would go on the stock exchange.

Twitter is seeking $1 billion (about £618m, AU$1.06b) for 472,613,753 of common stock, and wants to trade under the handle TWTR.

We pulled out those factoids but the filing delves much deeper into the nitty gritty of Twitter's business. You can read it all here, though there are a few more tidbits worth highlighting.

Chief among them is Twitter's confirmation that it has 215 million monthly active users (MAUs), up from the 200 million announced in December 2012. While it's an improvement, when stacked next to Facebook's 815 million MAUs as AllThingsD did, Twitter's count is pretty paltry.

As for daily active users, Twitter lands at 100 million, and those tweeters are sending out approximately 500 million 140-charactor-or-less messages each day.

Mobile minded

Twitter revealed that in the three months ending June 30, 2013, 75% of its average MAUs came to Twitter from a mobile device. That's a lot of smartphone and tablet eyeballs, but this crowd is doing more than just reading tweets.

"Our most engaged users are those who access Twitter via our mobile applications," Twitter wrote. "We plan to continue to develop and improve our mobile applications to drive user adoption of these applications.

Mobile advertising is projected to experience a whopping 39.2% compounded annual growth rate from 2012 to 2017, jumping from $10 billion (about £6.18b/AU$10.6b) to $52.2 billion (about £32.3b/AU$55.5b), Twitter's industry sources projected.

Those funds, if they come to pass, should help Twitter gain profitability. And, even though it earned $253.6 million (about £156m, AU$269m) in revenue during the first half of 2013, it lost $69.3 million (about £42.8m, AU$73.7m) in the same period.

Oh Twitter

The company placed significant emphasis on its information spreading and engagement capabilities in the S-1 in an effort to woo investors.

The filing is littered with literal tweets from important people and events, from President Barack Obama's uber-shared "four more years" tweet to a photo from the scene of US Airways Flight 1549's landing in the Hudson River.

@Orea, @Mariobatai and @WheatThins all make a filing appearance, plus the 2006 tweet that started it all:

Jack Dorsey tweet

And here's part of Twitter's letter to its shareholders:

"We started with a simple idea: share what you're doing, 140 characters at a time. People took that idea and strengthened it by using @names to have public conversations, #hashtags to organize movements, and Retweets to spread news around the world. Twitter represents a service shaped by the people, for the people.

"The mission we serve as Twitter, Inc. is to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly without barriers. Our business and revenue will always follow that mission in ways that improve - and do not detract from - a free and global conversation."

It's a lofty self-perspective, one Twitter hopes it can raise $1 billion to bankroll.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.