Twitter IPO will be unlike Facebook's (hopefully)

How Twitter will avoid Facebook's mistakes

It’s been only a few days since Twitter revealed, via a tweet, plans for an initial public offering, and it’s already being touted as the biggest IPO since Facebook’s. But that’s where CEO Dick Costolo is probably hoping the comparisons end. Facebook went public in May 2012 with $38 shares, only to watch their value plummet over the following weeks (the stock, now at $44, finally surpassed the IPO price about a month ago). Angry investors blamed Facebook for selling too many shares, while lead underwriter Morgan Stanley was fined $5 million for passing information about Facebook’s performance—information that wasn’t readily available to the public—to its biggest clients.

The debacle may explain why Twitter has reportedly decided to break with Silicon Valley tradition and hire Goldman Sachs for its IPO, instead of Morgan Stanley. Valued at an estimated $10.5 billion, compared to Facebook’s $109 billion, Twitter may also avoid listing on the tech-focused NASDAQ, which was fined $10 million in May for its response to a computer glitch that bogged down trades during Facebook’s market debut. As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted at this week’s TechCrunch conference: “I’m probably the person you’d want to ask last about how to make a smooth IPO.”

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