Twitter will go public on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday morning. On the eve of the company's much talked about IPO, here are seven things you might now know:
1. If Twitter's stock skyrockets tomorrow, it's actually a bad thing for the company.
According to San Francisco investment banker Bill Hambrecht, who has helped companies like Amazon, Apple and Google go public, if Twitter's price per share rises significantly higher than its IPO price of $26 on opening day, that money's going into the pockets of Wall Street insiders instead of flowing back into the company.
2. There's a reason we're talking about MAUs.
An MAU is a monthly active user. This number is important because many Twitter users aren't actually active on the platform. Only about half of registered users follow two or more people. Investors want to know how many people are actually using the network, not how many are merely signed up, because of the obvious implications this has for income generation.
3. Speaking of MAUs, Twitter is lagging behind some of its competitors.
Facebook boasts an impressive 1.19 billion MAUs while Twitter reports just 215 million. It also lags behind Google+, which reports 300 million.
4. Most of Twitter's MAUs are outside the United States.
An estimated 3/4 MAUs are outside the US, and experts caution that this could have negative implications when it comes to monetization.
5. Some San Franciscans don't like Twitter, and they plan to let the world know.
A group of individuals and community-based organizations will stage a protest on Thursday, set to begin at 6:30 a.m., right when Twitter's shares start trading on the New York Stock Exchange. They claim that the company receives unfair tax breaks, and is driving up rent in the Tenderloin and Mid-Market neighborhoods.
In a twist of irony, the protest has been promoted on Twitter, under the hashtag #ThrownOutByTwitter.
SF rejected B&C - NO more luxury condos! 11/7 we say NO to Twitter displacing working class families South of Market #ThrownOutByTwitter
— CausaJusta (@CausaJusta1) November 7, 2013
Gonna TaskRabbit someone to protest for me at this anti-tech rally. #ThrownOutByTwitter
— Catherine Sylvain (@catsylvain) November 5, 2013
6. Twitter is doing its IPO a little differently than Facebook did.
Besides being generally more low-key about it, Twitter is listing its stock on the New York Stock Exchange, while Facebook listed on the more tech-driven NASDAQ Stock Market.
The lead banker for Twitter's IPO is Goldman Sachs Group Inc, while Facebook went with Morgan Stanley.
7. When it comes to privacy concerns, Twitter could potentially know more about its users than any of the other social networks.
When you're reading an article on a website or blog, you usually have the option to tweet it or like it on Facebook. While Facebook claims it doesn't use its like buttons for tracking, Twitter makes no such promises.
Furthermore, Twitter recently acquired MoPub, a start-up that will place ads within its mobile app. The combined information collecting abilities of Twitter and MoPub have the potential to create what some tech experts are calling a "digital Rosetta Stone that enables it to know who you are, wherever you are."
Image: Twitter (SEC)