tv Inside Story Al Jazeera November 8, 2013 11:30am-12:01pm EST
it makes things sound warmer. i'm del walters and inside story is next. inside story. hello. when the opening bell rang on wall street today, twitter insiders became multimillionaires in an instant. there are 230 active users so the offering price each tweeter is worth $78 but of course that's not how it works. tonight, we will explore the high stakes high profile world of the i.p.o., but first, this background. >> twitter is the web's
micro blogging and social networking phenom, internet suffers log on to read, post, and share their thoughts. the more than 230 million users colludes heads of state. >> there you go, my tweet has been posted. that's what i'm talking about. >> countless celebrities. and political activists. some that even started a revolution all with an account and a #. posting more than half a billion tweet as day, twitter is taking the momentum and running. today's initial public offering of stock or ipo is the most anticipated technology stock debut since facebook. twitter is setting itself apart from other technology base companies that have nasdaq, like apple, google, and facebook.
facebook underwriters increase the price too dramatically, which forced large institutions to drop out and left individual investors with a overvalued stock, it's taken facebook more than a year to regain those initial losses. >> it's hard to grasp twitter's business model on amazon items can be purchased, valuable ad space is sold on google one of the most popular search engines but twitter pedals ideas, thoughts and global philosophizing. but how will it make money? some investors are skeptical. >> to be valued upwards of $20 billion potentially without any profit at this point, where we think through next year, we think that their kind of margin of safety is a lot more narrow than for other companies that have been around for a while, or generating profits. >> according to an a.p.
poll, 49% of active investors do not think twitser a good investment, and among those that tweet the most, 18 to 34-year-olds a surprising 52% say investing in twitser a bad idea. >> with the ticker name, the company is selling only 70 million shares in its initial offering. a relatively small amount for such a hot stock. the initial central of the i.p.o. was $26 per share, for a powerful typhoon ten, $18 billion investment. twittest sought a modest asking price, hoping they are eager to pay more, but the question is what are they buying? on the premise that it will be a profitable company, even though it's lost more than $300 million in the last three years. and it may not show real profit until the year 2015. joining us now from chicago, and the is author of canes way to wealth. from syracuse, mark schafer a social media
and business consultant, and the awe tor of the dow of twitter. and from new york city, a reporter for the wall street journal heard on the street column, she focused on media and telecommunications. miriam who is buying twitter stock? who is the type of investor? >> well, it's not just your regular ma and pa investor, because there aren't that many shares of a highly -- allocated i.p.o. to go around. so it is you are seeing a lot of big hedge fund investors a lot of big institutional investor whose are getting claim to the first shares that are entering the market in the ipo. >> and mark schafer what draws an investor to go after something like twitter. >> well, i think the extraordinary thing that twitter has done and it is so difficult is they have dominated a niche, and i think that's very attractive for investors. they have monopolized
their little piece of the web, and as their leaders have said, they are projecting that right now, only 10% of the potential users in the world for twitter are actually using the service. so there's a tremendous amount of growth opportunity. they are experiencing a youth movement, where twitter has become cool, and they are attracting a lot of new users internationally. and i think the other significant thing that investors are looking at is a tremendous potential they have as the de facto second screen for traditional tv viewing. so a high percentage of people who are watching traditional television shows today are engaging in social media at the same time. and more and more, that means twitter. so i think that's very attractive to advertising. twitser looking at new revenue streams, new models they have partners with nielsen on some projects so i think there's a lot of opportunity there, that
would be very exciting for investors. >> and yet, mark schafer we are not talking about the average user being able to jump into the market with this. as meriam talked about it is not something that is necessarily accessible to everyone. >> well, that's exactly right. at least at this point. it is going to be dominated by the institutional investors but i think at least with some of the early signs we saw this morning there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for the growth potential. this is a well run company. every move that twitter has made over the last few years has led to this moment. so it was all planned out, i think twitter does have a plan, i think -- no social media platform is probably introduced as many new advertising models as twitter.
so i think there are going to be more opportunitying for monotizing their platform. >> so mark schafer, you are far more skeptical, tell us why. >> well, generally skeptical, because it was all perilous to buy a single stock. and especially in the tech sector. you have more losers than winners. i just saw a study that said that only 40% of these i.p.o.s make money after a few years. and with technology the space is crowded and the barriers of entry are particularly low, it's a social media stock, an internet stock. you know you will have a lot of competition come on line. it is just full of risk. >> so the nature of an ipo, insiders make money, so john, one of the co-founders looks like he may make $1 billion out of this i.p.o., reflect on that for us. >> well, that's the way they are structured.
i mean the insiders the founders, the venture capital guys, the wall street banks they are going to do very well. because they have shares they know what the share price is going to be. they can time their trades so that they get rid of a little stock on the i.p.o. they always do well. it's hard to make an argument that this isn't anything that doesn't benefit from inside. but on the outside they don't know where the price is going, and they certainly don't know what is growth of the company is going to be. so that's where you get into trouble. >> isn't it ironic twitser a source of democracy on the web, where people can say anything, but does the nature of an i.p.o. make this moment elightening us the. >> it is an exclusive process. twitser not offering all of its shares up to the public, it is only offering a small slice, and they are just aren't enough to go around to everyone that wants them.
>> so what does twitter buying selling or creating we will talk about that when we come back? (vo) al jazeera america we understand that every news story begins and ends with people. >> the efforts are focused on rescuing stranded residents. (vo) we pursue that story beyond the headline, past the spokesperson, to the streets. >> thousands of riot police deployed across the capitol. (vo) we put all of our global resources behind every story. >> it is a scene of utter devastation. (vo) and follow it no matter where it leads, all the way to you.
>> while you were asleep, news was happening. >> here are the stories we're following. >> find out what happened and what to expect. >> international outrage. >> a day of political posturing. >> every morning from 5 to 9am al jazeera america brings you more us and global news than any other american news channel. >> tell us exactly what is behind this story. >> from more sources around the world. >> the situation has intensified here at the border. >> start every morning, every day, 5am to 9 eastern with al jazeera america.
we are back talking about twilter. still with us is john wassic. a personal investment and the authors of canes way to wealth. author of the dough of twitter and a reporter for the wall street journal heard on the street column. how do you really value twitter? we are so used to looking at companies that have brick and mo tar stores. you can rate how the company is doing based on sales how do you rate twitter? >> well, i think what a lot of people are looking at is revenue, and revenue growth. and also revenue per user. there's still how much twitter makes per users verses facebook. that is what is being based in right now to the evaluation. what drives revenue growth is hazy. we know that more advertisers buying advertisements on twitter
is what is going to drive the growth. is it going to be scale, is it going to be engagement of users is it -- is it going to be the type of ad that twitter offers we don't know exactly what it is. >> we have written about how advertisers are going to be the key to this. so john, what are advertisers going to be looking at? >> well, i agree with miriam. you have to look at revenue growth, is it a service that more people are using. what are they using it for, and when they do put ads on twitter and really try to monotize it, then the key is monotizing this. how much revenue does it bring in. and then the market will look back and say look, is this realistic. is it coming true. is it happening. what is the significant time line for you?
>> with tech companies you have to give them at least five years. a look at amazon, it has been teetering between profit and loss forever. since it launched and who knows if they will ever be profitable, but you have to see where the company is going. they have a certain unique aspect that will protect them from competition. that's looking at the companying, are they going to last, are they going to fend off, a lot of people will come after them. >> so mark schafer change in strategy, or just evolution, we have seen twitter lose over $300 million. >> well, i do think there are other opportunities for revenue streams. obviously advertising is the big one, advertising is what everybody will look at, but the other real goal here, is the data. the thing that is unique, and these are real time conversations happening and in a world where a
lot of the traditional ways the companies and brands have connected with their consumers are going away, or are in decline, twitter offs a new way to connect to learn to get market insight. and i think the deal that they have struck with nielsen is maybe one glimpse at that. here is a new model where they are looking at how and we turn big data. twitter data into marketing insight. so i think that is another twitter to monotize. >> how significant overseas users verses domestic users. three quarters of twitter users are overseas. >> well, there's a huge opportunity there, and the use of twitner some countries some regions of the world, particularly southeast asia are even
bigger than they are in the united states. twitter in some countries around the world is almost used like text messages. it is used instead of text messages. so right now, there is an amazing opportunity. huge opportunity for international growth, and we have seen that in about the last 18 to 24 months that it is started to roll internationally as well. >> miriam, your news outlet tells us that only a quarter of twitters ad revenue is commenting from overseas. what does that mean in terms of investors and also how twitter markets its product. >> well, you know, this gap is something that is plaguing facebook too. in developed markets like the u.s., that is naturally where you get the bulk of your revenue. and it is hard to try to get international usage to be monotized. and it may never happen. i may not be as
profitable as it is here in the u.s. >> the logical comparison is -- has its i.p.o. launched last year, but is it a fair comparison. >> well, you know, i think the temptation is to focus on the user base, and the size. and facebook is so much bigger than twitter. people will say will it ever get as big as facebook, and while i think scale matters because advertisers have to pay attention to you if you are big, i don't think twitter has to be as big as facebook to be successful. if they can prove that conversations that are important with people who matter to advertisers are happening on its platform, then advertisers will want to go there. it doesn't have to reach the entire world to achieve that. and i think it is starting to do that already. the question is how much can they be convinced that these ads are worth
it, and how much are they welcome to pay to be on twitter. >> lessons learns from facebook's launch. >> well, i think there was a lot of exuberance. i think the biggest lesson was probably the way that the executives from twitter prepared for this, and launched it but i guess time will tell. >> more about twitter's big launch, and also i.p.o.s, stay with us you are watching inside story. >> al jazeera america is the only news channel that brings you live news at the top of every hour. >> here are the headlines at this hour.
of fact based, in depth, serious journalism, and we fill that void... >> there is a huge opportunity for al jazeera america to change the way people look at news. >> we just don't parachute in on a story...quickly talk to a couple of experts and leave... >> one producer may spend 3 or 4 months, digging into a single story... >> at al jazeera, there are resources to alow us as journalists to go in depth and produce the kind of films... the people that you don't see anywhere else on television. >> we intend to reach out to the people who aren't being heard. >>we wanna see the people who are actually effected by the news of the day... >> it's digging deeper it's asking that second, that third question, finding that person no one spoken to yet... >> you can't tell the stories of the people if you don't get their voices out there, and al jazeera america is doing just that.
>> audiences are intelligent and they know that their needs are not being met by american tv news today. >> entire media culture is driven by something that's very very fast... >> there has been a lack of fact based, in depth, serious journalism, and we fill that void... >> there is a huge opportunity for al jazeera america to change the way people look at news. >> we just don't parachute in on a story...quickly talk to a couple of experts and leave... >> one producer may spend 3 or 4 months, digging into a single story... >> at al jazeera, there are resources to alow us as
journalists to go in depth and produce the kind of films... the people that you don't see anywhere else on television. >> we intend to reach out to the people who aren't being heard. >>we wanna see the people who are actually effected by the news of the day... >> it's digging deeper it's asking that second, that third question, finding that person no one spoken to yet... >> you can't tell the stories of the people if you don't get their voices out there, and al jazeera america is doing just that.
>> audiences are intelligent and they know that their needs are not being met by american tv news today. >> entire media culture is driven by something that's very very fast... >> there has been a lack of fact based, in depth, serious journalism, and we fill that void... >> there is a huge opportunity for al jazeera america to change the way people look at news. >> we just don't parachute in on a story...quickly talk to a couple of experts and leave... >> one producer may spend 3 or 4 months, digging into a single story... >> at al jazeera, there are resources to alow us as journalists to go in depth and produce the kind of films... the people that you don't see anywhere else on television. >> we intend to reach out to the people who aren't being heard. >>we wanna see the people who are actually effected by the news of the day... >> it's digging deeper it's asking that second, that third question, finding that person no one spoken to yet...
welcome to al jazeera america, i'm del walters. these are the stories we are following for you. >> i want to emphasize there is not an agreement at this point in time. but the p5 is working hard. >> secretary of state john kerry travels to geneva to meet with key players in the iran nuclear talks. there is mixed news on the jobs front. and a typhoon slams the philippines leaving at least four people dead and doing untold damage. ♪