The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

November 4, 2013

AP-CNBC poll: Twitter faces skeptical investors

— NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter faces skepticism from potential investors and the broader public ahead of its initial public offering, according to an Associated Press-CNBC poll released Monday.

Some 36 percent of Americans say buying stock in the 7-year-old short messaging service would be a good investment, while 47 percent disagree. Last May, ahead of Facebook's IPO, 51 percent of Americans said Facebook Inc. would be a good investment. Just 31 percent didn't agree.

Twitter plans to make its Wall Street debut this week and surprisingly, 52 percent of people ages 18 to 34 say investing in the company's stock is not a good idea.

Twitter Inc. will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday morning after setting a price for its IPO sometime Wednesday evening. As it stands, the San Francisco-based company plans to raise as much as $1.6 billion in the process. The transaction values Twitter at as much as $12.5 billion. That's little more than one-eighth of Facebook's roughly $104 billion market value when it went public.

Twitter has not turned a profit since its launch, but its future depends on advertisements as a primary source of income. The company mainly sells three types of ads: promoted tweets, promoted accounts and promoted trends. A company like Starbucks, for instance, can pay Twitter to promote a single tweet or it can pay the company to ask users to follow its account.

It does not bode well that more than half of Twitter users say they have not noticed advertising. Among the 42 percent of users who did notice, 31 percent say they've clicked on or followed one of the promoted items in question.

Among the poll's other key findings:

— One in 5 Americans say they have a Twitter account. One in 10, meanwhile, looks at Twitter feeds but doesn't have an account of their own.

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