Twitter is edging ever closer to floating on the stock market, with an IPO confirmed to be happening sooner rather than later. This is going to be less epic than the (troubled) Facebook IPO of 2012, with a lot less money being raised and nowhere near the amount of attention from the press and public.
However, as the MakeUseOf readership comprises intelligent and educated geeks and nerds, all of whom love technology with a passion, we thought you would be interested in the Twitter IPO. It turns out we were wrong on the latter, and possibly on the former as well.
We asked you, Will You Be Buying Shares In Twitter? I’m sorry to say a grand total of seven people took part in the discussion, which is the lowest number since this column began. While this poor showing is undoubtedly disappointing, it reveals the real truth behind the Twitter IPO.
Which is… that no one actually cares. I’m using the term “no one” liberally of course, as seven MakeUseOf readers care enough to have commented, and there are likely to be investors champing at the bit to buy a stake in the social networking site. However, if our (lack of) conversation is anything to go on, the mainstream public aren’t exactly enthused by the (non-) event.
Of the seven people who did take part in the discussion, four of whom get a namecheck below, two were against buying shares in Twitter, four were on the fence, and just one was keen to invest. And even the keen investor suspected it wouldn’t be a stock worth holding over the longterm.
As a technology journalist I cannot help but be interested in what happens with the Twitter IPO, but it seems that I’m in the minority even amongst my own people. Maybe it’s because I’m a bit of a Twitter fanboy as opposed to the majority of the population who still need convincing.
Comment Of The Week
We had great input from the likes of Neil Ferree, John, and Aibek, to name just a few. Comment Of The Week goes to likefunbutnot, who won with this comment:
Why would I? Why would anyone? Social media is a fad and is fad-driven, and the sites and services are closer to weather than anything else. The minute a site grows to general public acceptance, the young, hip and trendy folks move on to the next new thing. MySpace vanished from the Earth and Facebook is where clueless relatives can be found while all the cool kids now are using the Tumblrs and the Vines and such.
At the end of the day, you’d be investing in an advertising platform. YET ANOTHER advertising platform. And not even a particularly good one, since the pitch for twitter amounts to “sending SMS-like messages to the index-able web”, something that only hyper-connected people and witnesses to breaking news would even find particularly interesting.
I’m sure Twitter will still exist in 10 years. I’m also sure it’ll be mouldering in some holding company’s portfolio, bought for the one or two patentable ideas a Twitter engineer had, or a tiny, forgotten piece of some big internet firm’s media landscape, and probably almost exactly as exciting as HotBot.com.
I’m also sure that investors who got in on huge numbers of IPO shares will get a great return so long as they remember not to dump all their shares at the opening bell. Stocks and in particular tech stocks are extremely overinflated right now, and I think a lot of our current fiscal policies are driving generally higher Market Indices but eventually the US will be in a mood to re-regulate and some sanity will be brought to bear on the banks and investment firms that are overheating markets right now. The S&P and NASDAQ Composite are not a substitute for real income growth, something that the US hasn’t seen since the late 1970s, but as long as enough people believe their retirement income is tied to those values, they’re willing to go along with the kinds of decisions that lead to inflated stock prices at the expense of more informed choices or opportunities.
Anyway, no, I don’t think yet-another-metadata-rich-advertising-and-datamining-service looks like a sound place to put money.
We like this comment because it’s the only one that really delves deep into the subject matter. The commenter has a very definite view on Twitter and the social media phenomenon in general, and argues the case for not investing in Twitter. We may not agree with the sentiments expressed in the comment, but it is, nonetheless, a passionate argument that’s enjoyable to read.
We will be asking a new question tomorrow, so please join us then. We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to the MakeUseOf readership. This column is nothing without your input, all of which is valued.
Image Credit: Garrett Heath