There have been rumors that Twitter is considering going public, and now it sounds like the social network is indeed preparing for an initial public offering. Last month it was revealed that both NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ) and NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) were pitching the company for its listing business.

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Now Ben Marlow of The Sunday Times cites sources who say Twitter is preparing for a $15 billion IPO.

Twitter lays the groundwork

According to his report, Twitter is working on laying the groundwork for a stock market float of up to $15 billion. He says sources told The Sunday Times that the manager at the social networking company is planning to choose a number of investment banks over the next few weeks. The banks selected will take care of a bumper listing next year. The listing could come as soon as the first quarter of next year.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has apparently talked over his IPO plans in a number of conversations with various advisory firms vying for the company’s business. He’s said to have spoken with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley.

Are the Twitter rumors right this time?

Media Bistro notes that as recently as May, Twitter’s estimated value was about $10 billion. Of course speculation that the company would file for an IPO has been going around for years, but it seems as if the timing this time is right.

Twitter is exceptionally popular right now—so popular, in fact, that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) just can’t help but copy some of the social network’s most popular features like trending topics and hashtags. So will we see an IPO from Twitter this time around?

It certainly seems like a possibility, especially since this time the rumors have included talks with investment banks and even the two main stock exchanges in the U.S. We may see a filing to back up these rumors within the next few months, especially if it is planned for early next year.

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