218 million people isn’t enough

Twitter’s confidential filing for an initial public offering has progressed. The company announced their intention to raise $1 billion in their public offering. Despite the company’s successes, officials are worried that it won’t be enough for a transition to a publicly traded company. 

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal reported on Twitter’s announcement of more detailed plans of their IPO on Oct. 3. Both report that Twitter is a more popular social media overseas, and those overseas users generate more ad revenue than US users do. 

To conquer these problems, officials say that Twitter needs to have more US users, more ad revenue, and overseas users need to generate more ad revenue. Both articles address all of these issues in different ways. 

The WSJ reported on this IPO with their usual tone. There were several numbers mentioned, such as stock prices of companies involved, ad revenue generated each quarter by Facebook (“their chief rival”), and percentages of growth by Twitter and Facebook, and percentages of users of the same two social media giants. 

The WSJ, unlike their first article reporting on this matter, actually had several quotes from real people in this article. 

“Scale still matters,” says Adam Shlachter, senior vice president of media at DigitasLBi, a digital-ad firm owned by Publicis Groupe SA. “How consumers embrace [Twitter] and tap into it or tune in or out is going to be critical.”

Other concrete quotes show, not tell, the reader the obstacles that Twitter is facing. Stock experts do not think that Twitter has enough ad revenue compared to Facebook. 

“Some 22% of U.S. Internet users are on Twitter, according to Forrester Research Inc. By comparison, 72% check Facebook at least once a month. It is a troublesome issue for Twitter, which relies heavily on advertisers to make money, as it looks to raise $1 billion in a public offering. Advertising accounted for about 85% of Twitter’s $317 million in revenue in 2012, according to the filing. Facebook reported $4.3 billion in advertising revenue last year.”

The Times article relays the same information on this matter, but with fewer quotes, and market statistics that are used in the Times’ analysis are based off of opinion. 

“The average person is checking the service more frequently — about 230 times a month, compared with 197 times a month a year ago.” This shows that users do use Twitter more than they used to, but they also quote an execute from a ad sales company.

“Joy Baer, executive vice president of Strata, which makes software that helps advertisers and ad agencies buy online ads, said that the 1,000 ad agencies that use Strata had been rapidly increasing their purchases of Twitter ads over the last two years. Although Facebook still dwarfs Twitter in overall revenue, she said that for every $100 in Facebook ads her customers buy, they are buying $33 of Twitter ads.”

The Times did not necessarily leave out information, but the author chose to show a different side of Twitter’s upcoming public trade. 


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