—TWITTER IS MORE "MOBILE" THAN FACEBOOK
Twitter appears tailor made for an age of increasing reliance on smartphones and tablet computers. Three-fourths of Twitter's users already use the service on mobile devices. Perhaps more important to investors, the company sells 65 percent of its ads on smartphones and tablets. Facebook gets 41 percent of its ad revenue from mobile devices.
—ITS MARKET VALUE COULD BE AS HIGH AS $20 BILLION
Twitter hasn't set a price target for its IPO yet, but its documents contain some clues about its recent market value. The company's stock last sold in a privately arranged swap nine months ago at $17 per share. That deal implied Twitter had a market value of $10 billion to $11 billion at the time. Last month, Twitter priced some of its employee stock options at $20.62, based on a third-party appraisal of the company's value.
Some analysts predict Twitter will seek $28 to $30 per share in its IPO. If those projections pan out, Twitter will have a market value of $17 billion to $20 billion, including stock options and restricted stock likely to be converted into common shares after the IPO. Facebook made its stock market debut with a market value of more than $100 billion, but its stock plummeted before making resounding comeback this year.
—CO-FOUNDER EVAN WILLIAMS IS IN LINE FOR THE BIGGEST JACKPOT
Williams, a Twitter co-founder who was CEO for two years until Costolo took over in 2010, owns a 12 percent stake in the company.
If Twitter turns out to be worth at least $17.60 per share in the IPO, Williams will be a billionaire at 41 years old. He remains on Twitter's board of directors.
Another board member, Peter Fenton, and his venture capital firm, Benchmark Capital, own a 6.7 percent stake.
Next in line with a 4.9 percent stake is Jack Dorsey, who came up for the idea for Twitter with Noah Glass and Biz Stone. The stakes of Glass and Stone aren't listed in the IPO documents, meaning they don't own enough stock to trigger legal disclosures.
Many of Twitter's 2,000 employees could become rich, too, if the company's stock fares well. They won't be allowed to sell their stock until Feb. 15, at the earliest.