Analyst: Twitter valued at $11 billion, IPO coming 2014

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Twitter, the micro-blogging service, may be heading toward an initial public offering, if recent reports are true that the company is valued at $11 billion.

According to Forbes, Greencrest Capital analyst Max Wolff says that Twitter may start preparing for its IPO later this year and may go public as soon as 2014. Wolff acknowledges it is difficult to pin down a hard figure, but estimates Twitter's value based on how shares trade in secondary markets online.

"Twitter is up since the Facebook IPO and is now valued at northward of $11 billion," Wolff told Forbes. "This makes sense as growth in users and new monetization efforts are both yielding fruit and pointing toward a good 2013 for Twitter."

If Twitter plans to go public, its CEO Dick Costolo is certainly playing his cards close to his chest. In an interview with Wired at the Disruptive by Design conferencein May 2012, Costolo said about going public: "We don't see any need or urgency to even think about that stuff."

Costolo made further comments that suggest he may not want Twitter to be a public company that must bend to shareholders' wishes.

"I'm never going to optimize for short-term revenue at the expense of user experience," he said. "If people think we're going too cautiously, I don't care. They can stay on the sidelines."

Social networks going public are a concern for some of its active members. Leading up to Facebook's IPO, users were worried that the social network would use their photos and posts for profit. A status update masquerading as a legally-bindingprivacy notice went viral. Language in the post falsley suggested that by making a declaration, somehow their content is protected.

Whatever Twitter's true value, Costolo says the service is a "hit" and confirmed last May that the company was on track to bring in $250 million a year in revenue.

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