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Twitter Made Last-Minute Edits to Better Spin Its IPO

White Whale

You may have heard that Twitter made its IPO official this week. Despite the nonchalance of the filing announcement in September, the team put quite a bit of thought into it—and Quartz noted some revealing changes made in the four drafts the company wrote since July before making it official.

The process is nearly identical to refining the language in multiple versions of a press release, and it’s fascinating.

  • Twitter moved from being “a platform” to “a global platform”
  • The team added the intro “We aim to become an indispensable daily companion to live human experiences.”
  • A later draft mentioned that ad rates had declined and might continue to do so
  • After that the team added the fact that display ads are more prominent on laptops or desktops though most users go mobile
  • The company repeatedly tweaked language concerning the risk that ad engagement rates might go down
  • Finally, difficulties monetizing the service overseas were mentioned

Here’s where Twitter had a big edge over Facebook: a new law included in the JOBS Act allowed them to submit their IPO for review before it went public—which is how they were able to perfect the language and downplay potential investors’ concerns about the service’s ability to make money.

Quartz was able to review the drafts because they’re all public now under the law, but this new way of doing things prevents potentially damaging headlines about the uncertainty of startups as investments.

We can’t be sure how much difference the new law will make, but we know Zuckerberg is jealous.

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