SAN FRANCISCO — In fewer than 140 characters, Twitter announced Thursday that it has taken the first step toward going public, seeking to tap the same Wall Street well as its social media cousins, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Thursday's tweet said only that Twitter has confidentially submitted a document to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with plans for an initial public offering of stock.
Twitter has been valued at around $10 billion. Its IPO has been long anticipated on Wall Street as the company has been boosting ad revenue. The IPO is likely to be Silicon Valley's most anticipated debut since Facebook went public last year.
The confidential filing was made under federal legislation passed last year that allows companies with less than $1 billion in revenue in its last fiscal year to privately work with regulators before making them public. Twitter is on track to post $583 million in revenue in 2013, according to advertising consultancy eMarketer.
Twitter's announcement comes days after Facebook shares fully recovered from the plunge suffered after the social media giant went public in May 2012. As of Thursday's close, Facebook is up 17.8 percent from its $38 offering price.
LinkedIn, which went public in May 2011, has done even better. The social media site — which focuses on business connections more than social ones — saw its shares soar to almost $250 a share from its $45 offering price. And Yelp, the reviews site, is up 325 percent since its initial public offering in March 2012.
The confidentiality from a "secret filing" could help Twitter avoid the public speculation that plagued the IPOs of Facebook and other social media companies.
A Twitter spokesman, who confirmed the authenticity of the tweet to Reuters, declined further comment — or even hint at a possible ticker symbol.
Following that initial announcement, Twitter's official account sent out another tweet, saying "Now, back to work."
Shares of social media companies Facebook and LinkedIn ticked slightly higher in after-hours trading after Twitter disclosed it had filed.
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed reporting.
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First published September 12 2013, 2:16 PM