In its S1 preliminary filing released yesterday, the company revealed that it has made considerable losses over the past three years as it has spent large sums building up its services and acquiring 19 companies.
Twitter saw a loss of over $79.0 million in 2012, down from $128.3 million the previous year, as the company’s revenue nearly tripled to $316.9 million.
In the first half of 2013, it lost $69.3 million on revenues of $253.0 million.
Twitter said it generates “the substantial majority” of its revenue, around 87%, from advertising. Of that, 65% of which was generated through mobile devices in 2013.
The rest of its revenue comes from selling licenses to access, search and analyse its historical and real-time data. This amounted to just $32 million or 13% in the first six months of 2013.
The company began offering advertising in 2010, when it began selling “Promoted Tweets". It made just $7 million from advertising in the whole of 2010.
Twitter has invested heavily in monetizing its service since then. At the beginning of last month it acquired mobile ad exchange MoPub to better target the 75% of Twitter users accessing the platform through mobile devices.
It has since introduced targeted advertising through the acquisition of TV analytics company BlueFin Labs in February this year. The company analyses Tweets about TV shows and sells it findings.
“We intend to develop new and unique ad formats for our advertisers,” Twitter said in its S1 document. “For example, we recently introduced our lead generation and application download Twitter Cards and Twitter Amplify, which allows advertisers to embed ads into real-time video content.”
Twitter says the platform’s 218 million active users have created over 300 billion tweets since the company’s launch in 2006.
Since announcing its intention to go public in a Tweet last month, analysts have predicted the company could be worth between $12 and $20 billion when it enters the market.