Saturday, 12 February 2011

The new dotcom boom.

The new dotcom boom.

•, Thursday 10 February 2011

According to reports, Twitter has been valued at $10bn.

$10bn can buy a lot of companies; Harley-Davidson, the 108-year-old motorbike icon, is worth $10bn (£6.2bn). The Deutsche Börse is hoping to pay about that for the New York stock exchange.

It's also the price tag of Twitter, the loss-making five-year-old microblogging site that is considered a superstar of a new era of communication or the best example of a new dotcom bubble.

Google and Facebook are both reportedly courting Twitter. Although talks are at a very early stage the price tag of $10bn seems firm.

Just two months ago Twitter was valued at $3.7bn after raising $200m in new financing.

Facebook, the biggest of them all, is a social network phenomenon founded by Mark Zuckerberg which has more than 600 million active users, almost twice the population of the United States. is said to be looking at an IPO (which means initial public offering) that would value the firm at $50bn – more valuable than Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire and nearly as much as Boeing.

Twitter now has more than 175 million users. Its revenues last year are said to have been $45m, although they are expected to more than double this year. But that's a tiny sum for a $10bn company – especially one that is losing money.

And for all the buzz around Twitter, it is still a minority interest. Just 12% of internet users in the US use Twitter, according to a recent survey made by the Pew Research Centre. Facebook is used by 62%.

But there is real value there.

Twitter has changed how people communicate and will continue to do so. But according to experts, there are two reservations: can they keep up their phenomenal growth, and can they make any money?

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