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Twitter wows Wall Street

Twitter has surprised the tech world with a hugely successful public launch today, surging to 73% growth after day one to reach $US44.90 a share.

Investor sentiment was clearly high for the popular social network; in the first exchanges on Thursday, Twitter climbed 80.7% to $US47, compared with the initial public offering that, as we reported yesterday, was at $US26 per share a day earlier.

Twitter's shares went as high as $US50.09 before closing the day at $US44.90, a rise of nearly 73%.

The company's energetic team of founders attended the opening on the New York Stock Exchange, along with Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart and a nine-year-old girl who operates a lemonade stand.

This was in stark contrast to Facebook's Zuckerberg and co, who rung in the Facebook IPO on Nasdaq at a ceremony in Menlo Park, California.

‘‘Honored to join ev jack biz dickc & the Twitter team at their historic IPO this morning,’’ Stewart tweeted.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo was upbeat but pragmatic about the company's fortunes.

‘‘We have a lot of work ahead of us’’ Costolo told CNBC television from the floor of the stock exchange. ‘‘All the capital raised by this is going into the company.’’

Asked about Twitter’s growth potential, Costolo said, ‘‘It’s all about making it very simple and easy for new users to come to the platform ... we all have examples of why this service can be useful to everyone on the planet.’’

All reports are in agreement that the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, ended up providing nearly flawless execution; a clear departure from Nasdaq’s bungled rollout of Facebook.

While concerns remain around Twitter' slowing US user growth, its current size, and its profitability prospects, clearly investors were optimistic.

Twitter raised some $US1.8 billion and the IPO gave the company a valuation of $US14.4 billion, or some $18 billion depending if you count its restricted shares. Facebook’s IPO valued the company at more than $US100 billion.

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