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Twitter Files Confidential IPO with SEC, Publicizes on Twitter

Tickers in this article: FB GS GSVC MS SVVC

This story has been updated with additional information on Twitter's business.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Twitter, the popular micro-blogging site, is filing for an initial public offering of its stock on Thursday. The company took to its own network to make the announcement, after months of speculation by media, Wall Street and investors.

"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," Twitter said at about 5 p.m. EST on Thursday.

In a follow-up tweet, Twitter then said, "Now, back to work," and linked to a photo of the company's offices .

Unlike a traditional filing disclosed to public investors, companies like Twitter with revenue less than $1 billion in their most recent fiscal year can submit S-1 IPO filings confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS Act.

Twitter may have filed confidentially with the SEC as a means to gain feedback on its financial reporting without having to make a series of public amendments, Beth Saunders, Americas chairman of FTI Consulting's Strategic Communications practice, said in a telephone interview. The confidential filing and subsequent announcement on Twitter also proved to be a good marketing opportunity. "I think there is a good marketing pop and they got it," Saunders said.

While details remain unclear, Twitter's pending IPO will likely be the most watched listing since Facebook's blockbuster May 2012 share sale.

eMarketer projected in March that Twitter will earn $582.8 million in global ad revenue in 2013 before nearing $1 billion next year, with the majority of the company's growth coming from mobile users.

TheDeal's Jon Marino reported in August that a shareholder pegged Twitter's market capitalization at about $12 billion. That source suggested Twitter's valuation would rise, but not past $15 billion, by the time it listed on public markets.

"Twitter's not going to try and take every last dime off the table in IPO pricing," a source said.

Twitter has ramped up its revenue and is expected to exceed $1 billion in advertising revenue, a source also told Marino. Twitter's true potential may lie in yet-undeveloped verticals, that source said.

In September, Twitter said it would buy online mobile-ad exchange MoPub for $350 million, according to media reports.

CNBC reported on Thursday that Goldman Sachs will lead the offering. Other investment banks are likely to be added to Twitter's IPO book as the company moves towards a listing. Earlier in 2013, Twitter hired Morgan Stanley's Cynthia Gaylor to head up its corporate development.

Stock sales in Twitter by early stage VC's Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures have sold at a substantial discount to a $12 billion valuation used in some recent private transactions. Other private stock sales have been in the $10.5 billion to $11.5 billion range.