The $10 Billion Question

Since its launch in 2006, Twitter has amassed hundreds of A-list users and the kind of cultural cachet--excuse us, #cachet--that most tech companies can only envy. Now the real work starts.

As the San Francisco--based outfit readies for its initial public offering, announced Sept. 12, analysts have already valued Twitter at roughly $10 billion (or 10% of Facebook's IPO value). But those lofty expectations don't guarantee success.

Right now, Twitter has more than 200 million active users and takes in less than $1 billion annually. Max Wolff, chief economist at wealth-management firm ZT Wealth, reckons its primary moneymakers are tweets, trends...

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