The Exchange

Twitter: The Good News and the Bad News

The Exchange

By Jon Najarian

As was reported Thursday night, Twitter has filed to go public while bypassing some of the usual procedural hurdles that are imposed on many high-profile IPOs.

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The micro-blogging site was able to take advantage of a part of the Jobs Act known as Jumpstart that will allow them to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission without the full disclosure required in most public offerings.

That's both the good news and the bad news. The bad news is that, under Jumpstart, Twitter took advantage of the confidentiality exception provided to companies with less than $1 billion in revenue. The good news, of course, is that we will all soon be able to own its shares and ride what I believe will be a very bright future for this groundbreaking company.

Twitter gets an edge

By not disclosing all of its financial data, Twitter continues to enjoy an edge that could have been exploited by competitors. For example, rivals could have gotten valuable strategic information and cherry-picked talent from Twitter by knowing its expenses, revenues, and profits.

The limited disclosure may also help the company avoid the type of fiasco that Facebook (FB) encountered in its IPO last year, as lawsuits arose over the way the social network's business was portrayed by the investment bankers who handled the move. Twitter's offering will not be subject to such scrutiny, for better or for worse.

Still, we did learn some interesting things last night: Twitter has roughly 200 million users who post an average of 400 million tweets per day. The bulk of those are sent on mobile devices, presumably a majority by smartphones and iPads.

We also know that there is a snowball's chance in hell that Twitter will list its shares on the Nasdaq, which so badly botched the Facebook offering and has seen multiple outages in just the last month. So it is almost certain that the New York Stock Exchange will be tapped this time around.

A bright future

I found it poetically appropriate that Twitter elected to tell the world of its IPO in a tweet. Twitter has redefined how the world disseminates information, and the service has become ubiquitous among people from all sectors of society--whether they be world leaders, underground rebels, celebrities, retailers, or flash mobs. They all use it to instantly share information that is important, thought-provoking, or funny in its 140-character messages, so why should Twitter itself be any different?

I am happy to say I was an early adoptee and devotee to Twitter, and I tweet at @optionmonster. As much as I enjoy and find the microblogging site an essential part of my daily routine, I intend to make shares in Twitter a part of my portfolio.

Jon Najarian is co-founder of Optionmonster.com.

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