Boston police officer Cheryl Viandaca, child activist Vivenne Harr, and actor Sir Patrick Stewart ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange in honor of Twitter's IPO today. (Image Source: Reuters)
Twitter launched their initial public offering today, relying on Sir Patrick Stewart, a child who runs a lemonade stand, and a Boston cop to open the stock offering for them. The IPO, in a far cry from Facebook's launch, proved to be successful: The stock closed at $44.74, nearly 73% more than its opening stock price of $26 per share. At the start of the day, the stock reached $50 per share, but has hovered around $45 since then. While the company scored a significant break with its IPO, and shareholders from the company's beginning earned their billions, users should still be worried at the issues of Twitter going public.
As we have reported recently, the Twitter IPO comes with some unfortunate implications for users. Primarily, the issue is that the company the company will begin focusing more and more making sure shareholders earn money off the company's stock. While the company has every right to earn money for their shareholders, it means that users are left behind, and are forced to deal with more and more changes that harm using Twitter. Many a user have complained about the changes being done to Facebook, for example, but the social network forces it down on users, preferring the rabble of users to the wrath of their shareholders. No doubt Twitter will be doing the same.
More importantly, though, IPOs of any kind, let alone Twitter's, changes the dynamic of the offering company immediately. By making an IPO, a company sacrifices complete control over its own destiny and vision to the whims of shareholders, all in order to make a few extra dollars and get a little more money into their system. Unlike the people in companies, who know the ins and outs of how a business works, a lot of shareholders tend not to know nor care about how the companies they invest in work. All they care about is how much money they are earning off their stock at the end of the day, and whether to buy or sell more stock. The people that now control these companies are nameless, faceless people whose sole interest in the company is money.
The upbeat IPO of Twitter means that investors have confidence in the company's current business model, as well as how they manage their finances. Facebook's drubbing in its IPO earlier in 2013 likely sparked several of the controversial changes that have drawn the ire of users everywhere. For now, Twitter is not likely to face any severe changes to its site anytime soon, thanks to this opening. However, that may change in three months time, when the first quarterly earnings report rolls in for shareholders.