Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares fell more than 5% during the regular trading day on the company’s second day on the exchange, perhaps giving some investors flashbacks of Facebook’s initial public offering last year. Of course Twitter’s fall hasn’t been as bad as Facebook’s was at first last year, but we just can’t stop comparing the two.
Last year when Facebook dropped like a rock after its IPO, Warren Buffett said it wasn’t a big deal because “all kinds of stocks go down.” He said the only question is just how much Facebook was worth. Now that same question faces investors interested in Twitter, and Bloomberg View contributor Leonid Bershidsky believes Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is actually a better investment than Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).
Why Twitter may have more growth ahead
He admits that Twitter has yet to report a profitable quarter and that its 2014 revenue is projected to be approximately $1 billion. But he makes the case for why it’s worth $24 billion right now, explaining that rapid growth is why he sees Twitter as being a better investment than Facebook right now.
He points out that Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is at an earlier development stage than Facebook is. Facebook started selling ads in 2008, but Twitter didn’t start doing it until two years later. He says Facebook’s model is mature, but he sees “more potential upside” in Twitter’s model.
Twitter is the second mover
He also sees an advantage in being the second mover in an industry. Or in this case, the third mover. The company watched both Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) to see how they monetized their businesses and then developed its own model. And Twitter even watched how Facebook did its IPO so that it knew what not to do.
Bershidsky also sees other areas in which he thinks Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is better than Facebook, particularly in its core business. He said there are small changes the company is making that will improve its performance bit by bit. For example, he believes Twitter understands mobile platforms better and that the company’s ad sales model may be better for advertisers because the response quality is better. Twitter actually gets paid for “engagement,” according to Bershidsky, who defines that as “retweets, responses and mentions.” Twitter gets paid when a user makes some kind of “meaningful contact” with the brand rather than just by clicking on an ad.