When This Company Finally Goes Public, It Will Blow the Facebook IPO Away
Costolo went on to explain that Twitter has "an ad platform that already is inherently suited to mobile." And it is. I am not sure what reasons Costolo would give for this, but, personally, it feels natural to see an ad come across my Twitter feed. It feels less so on my Facebook feed. I cannot necessarily put my finger on exactly why, but standard ads on Twitter do not look out of place.
It's somewhat similar to an advantage Pandora(P) has -- users expect and, as a result, tolerate a relatively small number of commercials while listening to radio, particularly if they're targeted and relevant.
That's another thing Costolo seems intent on perfecting: the relevance of the Twitter experience to each individual user. He's made leaps and bounds in the right direction, but Costolo has not brought Twitter "there" yet. Twitter will not go public until it brings its "A" game, all of the time, on mobile as well as the desktop.
If you've used the Facebook and Twitter mobile apps, you likely agree you cannot compare the two. Twitter blows Facebook away, not from an I like Twitter better than Facebook standpoint, but from design and functionality perspectives.
Twitter is also growing like a weed. Revenues could hit $1 billion in 2014. That would indicate a roughly sevenfold increase over last year's total of $139 million. When you go public, you want to be in the middle of that type of hyper growth.
If growth moderates at Facebook as many expect, Zuckerberg or Sheryl Sandberg (or whoever) will have to spend the company's entire first conference call as a public entity defending the business model and the future. That's just not a good spot to be in several months post-IPO, particularly in the aftermath of an offering that did not fire all that smoothly.
At Twitter, Costolo will boast about high double-digit (and maybe even triple-digit) revenue growth. He can comfortably set expectations well before the growth slows, stalls or merely takes a pause.