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Is Twitter Private Now? What Happened to the Stocks?


April 1, 2024 | 9 min read

X, the social media platform formerly called Twitter, has undergone massive reforms since its launch in 2006. This company, which became publicly traded in 2013, also underwent major administrative changes. However, several questions have emerged about its ownership. So, is Twitter private now, or is X privately owned?

Twitter’s recent ownership change has seen the company move from public to private. While the company was publicly traded on the stock market, anyone could buy its shares. However, its shares are no longer available publicly. Since there has been a lot of interest in this topic, this post covers everything about it.

White versions of the old and new Twitter or X logo on a gray background.

Is Twitter a Public Company? Is Twitter Private Now?

Twitter is not a public company. Although it initially became public about a decade after its launch, it has reverted to private ownership. The company’s takeover in October 2022 triggered massive changes to the site. Still, users often ask questions like “Is X a private company, or is Twitter privately owned?”

Among these changes was the ownership pattern. The company liquidated public stocks, giving holders cash equivalents. This meant that the public no longer held any stake in the company. They also didn’t have inputs in their daily operations. 

Twitter became a public company in 2013 after announcing through a post on the site. This meant they sold part of the company to the public on the stock market. The public could buy company shares on the New York Stock Exchange. 

During that time, about 75% of the total shares went to large institutions that invested in the company. After it first went public, its shares started at $45.10 before closing at $44.90 for the day. Overall, the initial public offering (IPO) could not have improved. 

For Twitter, going public created a pool to draw funds to reinvest in the company. Also, the company could now take bonds from investors, even without offering shares in return. However, it meant that Twitter had to report its finances and earnings to the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Besides that, public ownership meant that the company’s primary owners no longer held all the cards. While they still had the majority control, continuous sale of shares could deplete their authority. 

But all these ended when Elon Musk took over in October 2022. Amidst so much fanfare and excitement, the first thing that followed was the company’s delisting from the stock exchange. He hinted that it might go back public in a few years. 

When Did Twitter Go Public?

Twitter went public on November 7, 2013. Its initial public offering was quite a show, giving pundits what to discuss. While the company had initially priced its shares for $26 a piece, starting prices blew that out. When Twitter did go public, its stock debuted at a staggering $45.10.

This figure was 73% higher than the company’s initial price. During that New York trading session, a share went as high as $50.09. But eventually, it closed the day at $44.90 a share. These prices pushed Twitter’s value beyond the initially estimated range. 

After the initial public offering, analysts placed Twitter’s value around $24.4 billion. The company’s stock became the most traded on the IPO day. Overall, people traded about 117.3 million Twitter stocks within the first session. 

The decision of this social media company to go public came seven years after its launch. During that period, it had garnered quite a huge number of users. The company had cemented its spot as the town hall of public discourse. Its IPO set the pace for other social media platforms, especially after Facebook’s messy launch on the NASDAQ.

After Twitter went public, its stock played around for a bit. Its all-time high occurred on March 1, 2021, when it closed at $77.63 per share. Since then, its stock price dropped again before climbing to $54.20, at which point the stock exchange delisted it.

The company has had quite a rollercoaster ride concerning its management. The recent takeover and eventual rebrand from Twitter to X is only one of the latest occurrences. But despite Musk’s comments, no one knows if the famous Twitter stock will return to the public domain.

A pile of blue boxes, each with the old Twitter logo.

What Happened to Twitter Stock?

Twitter stock went off the New York Stock Exchange after the company became private. This meant that its shares no longer existed on public markets. This delisting was effective from November 8, 2022, a few days after the company changed hands. 

As an investor, you might have wondered about your role in the acquisition. There were also concerns about the fate of Twitter shares, which the public owned. So, here is what happened to Twitter stock.

A day after Elon Musk acquired the social media company, the New York Stock Exchange delisted its stock. Next, the company got records of every investor who owned shares during the delisting. Afterward, it initiated payments for their shares.

Since brokers and brokerage agents represented most public shareholders, they received the payments on their behalf. These brokerages subsequently paid their clients after receiving the agreed payments. Subsequently, each investor received $54.20 per share. 

That was the amount Musk agreed to pay the company. The company’s shareholders agreed to the deal with a 98% margin. The shareholders sat and waited for the money to hit their bank accounts.

But again, the shareholders no longer held any sway with the company. For instance, they cannot hold a new meeting with bearings to the company. Also, they cannot sue the company as a shareholder anymore. 

However, the $54.20 figure offered most shareholders an excellent return on investment. Comparative to the industry patterns, Twitter shareholders enjoy significant dividends. Market analysts insisted that the deal was better than anyone imagined.

The major shareholders included private asset management firms. Big individual stockholders, such as the co-founder, also held significant shares. Then, a few pension funds made up the rest. 

Why Did Twitter Go Private?

Twitter’s new ownership took the company private to keep most of the control. The initial plan for the company included implementing several drastic changes. Therefore, this was quite necessary. At least this is one of the reasons for that major change. So, considering all the factors, why did Twitter go private?

1. Twitter Went Private To Limit Control

Twitter’s ownership change aimed to rebrand the company. It also aimed to implement several changes to the platform. So, the new ownership already had the picture in mind. However, implementation could be challenging, especially if many people held the stakes. 

They had to deal with the bureaucracy that might have existed in the organization. They first cut out the shareholders, removing their power from the company. Since only a few people now held the stakes, they could implement certain reforms more adequately. That is why they turned it into a private company.

Changes like the revision of the Twitter verification feature and the name change attracted much criticism. If the stakeholders were still in play, they would have hindered those processes greatly.

2. Going Private Offered Twitter More Freedom

For Twitter, going private offered a lot of freedom to play its newly found role. The change in ownership meant it no longer had to report its financial information. For instance, the company no longer reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission or follows its rules. 

This meant that the company could venture into some long-term endeavors which it would have been unable to. Also, the company can pursue certain projects without dealing with public shareholders and other influences. 

3. The Company’s Rebranding Permitted for Abrupt Changes

While Musk was negotiating to take over Twitter, he emphasized the company’s extraordinary potential to foster free speech. He also stated that the company’s past management did not have the capacity for this role. 

He noted that the platform’s dependence on ad revenue has created this phenomenon. So, the abrupt changes he touted would not draw immediate profits. Musk mentioned that the company will relax its rules on content moderation. 

Besides relaxing content moderation, the company also reinstated several banned accounts. Also, instead of permanently banning accounts, the company proposed temporary shadowbans on Twitter. Since these issues were quite sensitive, the bureaucracy would have only dragged the process.

Multiple blue-themed Twitter icons float around.

Will Twitter Go Public Again?

There are no clear indications whether Twitter will be going public anytime soon. The company’s new owner, Elon Musk, has refused to stop speculation about reverting to public ownership. Elon Musk had initially mentioned to potential investors that this could happen in a few years. 

The rumors have died down, with talks of an initial public offering running wild after the takeover. However, experts also mentioned that this could happen three years after the 2022 takeover. The company’s chances of going public again have declined by the day. 

Recently, there have been many speculations about the company’s current value. Estimations show that X, the company formerly called Twitter, is now worth less than half of the $44 billion initial payment. This valuation alone presents a constraint to any public offering plans. 

But besides these estimations, the current landscape of the social media industry has also made this event unlikely. There have been no initial public offerings for companies running social media platforms recently. Analysts insist that we are well past the IPO boom of the last decade.

Two people hold a round cardboard with the Twitter logo.

Is Your Twitter Profile Public? Clean It With TweetEraser

Twitter hosts millions of conversations every day. In the midst of all these, you can share posts that can be potentially problematic. So, from time to time, it becomes necessary to clean up your Twitter profile. TweetEraser offers the perfect opportunity to clear your timeline effectively. 

The web tool offers advanced filtering services, allowing you to remove posts based on preset conditions. The site lets you upload your archive, accessing all your catalog of posts. Also, you can delete multiple posts from your profile in a few clicks. 

TweetEraser also allows you to set up automatic tasks running in the background. This web tool offers users Beginner, Advanced, and expert plans. So, you can quickly sign into the website, set up your profile, and initiate deletions. Although Twitter is private now, this service is still useful.

At TweetEraser, we have designed a straightforward and efficient web tool that allows you to filter and delete Twitter posts. This app imports and loads your archives, granting you access to all your posts on the platform. Clean up your timeline to get a fresh start. Start filtering and cleaning your timeline on Twitter today!

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