With Facebook gearing up for what is likely to be a $100 billion IPO and Twitter showing no signs – or interest – in following suit anytime soon, the suggestion that Twitter’s value might exceed that of Facebook, now or at any time in the future, might well appear to be folly.
Not so, says Rory Sutherland, vice-chairman of Ogilvy & Mather, and the man who helped turn Microsoft into a major force in the 1980s. Sutherland has not only tipped Twitter to ultimately outrank Facebook in valuation, but that the micro-blogging network will also will reveal itself to be a money-making monster.
“I can see Facebook being superseded more easily than Twitter being superseded,” said Sutherland. “As a forum for outbursts, Twitter’s [character] limit, its haiku element is very appealing. I wouldn’t bet against it being more valuable [than Facebook] in the long term.”
Sutherland added that Twitter’s “potential for making money is higher than anyone realises”.
On May 3rd, Facebook set the price range for its IPO at $28-35 per share, allowing the firm to raise between $5-6.3 billion, with a valuation of some $96 billion. Facebook is expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol FB on May 18th.
Twitter, meanwhile, is in no rush lose its private status. “We don’t want to be public until we have very predictable quarterly earnings growth,” CEO Dick Costolo said in an internal email back in February. “We’re not ready to be a public company for a couple years.”
Good thing, too: despite serious funding, and in sharp contrast to Facebook, the bird is yet to turn a profit.