As the unofficial social news source of record, Twitter is simply faster and better at aggregating information than a traditional news network could ever be. After this week there can be no doubt.
The question isn't whether Twitter is the fastest, albeit often inaccurate, way to gather news. It remains to be seen whether or not Twitter can retain that status and grow into a sustainable business. Eric Jackson of Ironfire Capital says yes.
"It think Twitter's the real deal," says Jackson in the attached video. He explains that Twitter has gone from a joke to the dominant player in terms of mind share among users in the last two years. Every television show and product seems to have a hashtag now. In turn every person on Twitter is their own programmer, producer, reporter or entertainer. "Your handle, my handle, I think these are the TV channels of the future," he predicts.
Jackson could be right, but the truth is if Twitter didn't exist a different site would be in its place as the hub of online information. AOL's AIM once served a similar function in a much less wired in age but proved unable to hold the audience, let alone monetize it. Jackson says Twitter is already profiting from your attention.
"The chatter is that (Twitter) is going to do $600 million in revenue this year and a billion in revenue next year," Jackson reports. For rapidly growing companies in the tech space, particularly social networking, a valuation of 15 to 20x these revenues would not be out of the question. That would give Twitter a market cap of more than $20 billion based on next year's top-line. For the sake of comparison, Twitter could go public with a higher valuation than Netflix (NFLX) and Blackberry (BBRY) combined.
It's impossible to say whether or not Twitter has the potential to be a good public company, but getting out of the gate with a $20b market cap would certainly be a nice start. For that and other reasons, Jackson thinks a Twitter IPO is just a matter of time. As far as he's concerned sooner is better than later for Twitter to start the process.