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Twitter has announced its stock offering through a low-key tweet, marking a new phase for the world's second most popular social network.

"We've confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This Tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale," the company tweeted today.



Due to a US federal law passed last year, companies with less than US$1 billion in annual revenue can submit confidential S-1 statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission without subjecting them to public scrutiny.

Forbes is reporting that therefore if Twitter changes its mind with the offering, it won't have divulged its internal numbers to the public.

However the form must be made public 21 days before the company begins the process of approaching investors for money.

The confidentiality is likely a reaction to the widespread media scrutiny that Facebook has faced since it decided to launch its IPO in May last year, which saw CEO Mark Zuckerberg come under fire from critics alleging he didn't know what he was doing.

Twitter has been valued by private investors at more than $US10 billion and will post $US583 million in revenue in 2013, according to advertising consultancy eMarketer.

The company, headed by CEO Dick Costolo, makes its money primarily by selling ads, which gain a lot of their value from the advertiser's ability to target specific groups of users.

Twitter only has 200 million users however, compared to Facebook's 1.15 billion.

As we reported yesterday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had some advice for Twitter, saying that the company need to remain focused.

"You have to know everything about your company. You've got to stay focused on doing the right stuff," he said.

An IPO for Twitter will go over fine as long as the social network "focuses on what they're doing."


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David Swan

David Swan is a tech journalist from Melbourne and is iTWire's Associate Editor. Having started off as a games reviewer at the age of 14, he now has a degree in Journalism from RMIT (with Honours) and owns basically every gadget under the sun. He also writes for Junkee and Fasterlouder. You can email him at david.swan@itwire.com or follow him at twitter.com/mrdavidswan