10 tidbits from Twitter's IPO filing

Who owns the company and the sources of its revenue are among the details disclosed

Twitter made its IPO documents public Thursday and in the process revealed some juicy information about the company, like how much money it makes (or loses) and how much its executives get paid. Here are a few of the details we learned about Twitter today.

Executive pay

Dick Costolo, Twitter's CEO and a member of its board, received total compensation of US$11.5 million last year, including $200,000 in salary and $8.4 million in stock. That was a little more than the company's head of engineering, Chris Fry, whose total compensation was $10.3 million, including $10.1 million in stock.

Revenue growing

Twitter's revenue ballooned in the past few years. Last year it was $317 million, three times what it was in 2011 ($106.3 million) and more than 10 times what it was three years ago ($28.3 million). But the growth has been slowing and it's still a minnow compared with Facebook, whose revenue last year was $5.1 billion.

Lots of red ink

Twitter lost money in each of the last three years -- $79 million last year, $128 million in 2011, and $67 million in 2010. Things might not get better any time soon: it lost $69 million in the first six months this year, and the "restricted stock units" it has granted will have "a significant negative impact on our ability to achieve profitability on a GAAP basis in 2013 and 2014," the company said.

GAAP, or generally accepted accounting principles, doesn't take into account unusual charges that can affect a business in any given year. But Twitter revealed it has been losing money on a non-GAAP basis, too.

Where does the money come from?

Twitter gets 85 percent of its revenue from ad services, most of that from Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts and Promoted Trends. The rest comes from data licensing, in which other companies pay to access, search and analyze its tweets, typically under two-year agreements.

Who owns Twitter today?

Cofounder and former CEO Evan Williams holds the biggest chunk of the company's stock, with 12 percent, or about 57 million shares. Peter Fenton, a board member and early investor, owns 6.7 percent, while Jack Dorsey, another founder and the board chairman, has 4.9 percent. Biz Stone, the other cofounder, is not listed as a significant shareholder.

Challenges overseas

More than three-quarters of Twitter's monthly users were outside the U.S. last quarter, but only a quarter of its revenue was "international." It said it's been focusing its investments lately on Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom

How many users?

Twitter had 218 million monthly users last quarter. Facebook had 845 million when it went public last February, and today it has 1.2 billion.

Mobile

Mobile was a serious weak point for Facebook when it went public, but it does not appear to be for Twitter. In the three months from April to June, 75 percent of Twitter's average monthly active users accessed the service from phones and tablets, and more than 65 percent of its ad revenue came from mobile.

Competitors

The big ones are obvious, like Facebook (which got nine mentions in the filing), Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft and Yahoo. But Twitter also listed local rivals it will have to battle internationally: China's Sina Weibo, Japan's Line and South Korea's Kakao.

Risk Factors

Companies have to disclose the major risks to their business when they go public; Twitter's went on for 31 pages. Among them: failure to grow its user base, loss of ad revenue, competitors, failure to expand internationally, technical problems, government restrictions on its service (it's blocked in China), and bad publicity.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

4 key findings on the state of B2B marketing

The ​2016 B2B Marketing Outlook Report​ was recently published by Green Hat in conjunction with ADMA for the sixth consecutive year. It highlights the most significant trends from 2015 and shows B2B marketers what’s in store for the year ahead.

Andrew Haussegger

Co-founder and CEO, Green Hat

Why app engagement must be personalised

Research from Nielsen late last year reported Australian smartphone users over the age of 18 spend 33 hours per month in apps, and a mere four hours per month in browsers. But what does it take to actually maintain an app customers will engage with?

Rob Marston

Head of Airwave, A/NZ

Customer experience investments more vital than ever

The global commodity slump has hit Australia in the last few months. Companies that obsess over these developments might be tempted to cut spending on customer experience (CX) programs. Here's why that's a a terrible idea.

Harley Manning and Thomas McCann

Research leaders, Forrester

Now you make creative Facebook ads

Mike Smith

Why AAMI turned to Facebook mobile and segmentation to drive brand favourability

Read more

Rob - great article. Here at Pure Oxygen Labs we could not agree more. When considering retail mobile apps deep linking is woefully unde...

Scott

Why app engagement must be personalised - Mobile strategy - CMO Australia

Read more

Project Leader?? Kim Portrate is one of the most ineffective leaders I have ever had the displeasure of meeting. She single-handedly cost...

Anonymous

Helloworld scraps CMO role

Read more

What tripe. This article conveniently makes no mention of her lies and bullying tactics and how she had placed everyone off-side with her...

Anonymous

Helloworld scraps CMO role

Read more

You mentioned cashback sites giving "immediate earnings" for transactions through their site. Cashback sites can take a couple of months...

RG

Are points-based customer loyalty programs on the way out?

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in