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Will Twitter Sell Its Soul Like Facebook Did? (Update 1)

Updated from 7:44 p.m. 9/12/2013 with an embedded video of the author's Friday morning appearance on CNBC.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Three things I have to say on news that Twitter will go public.

First, I am on record as the first person known to man to suggest "TWIT" as the ticker symbol for Twitter as a publicly-traded entity. It's timestamped in a November 7, 2012 article where I suggested Facebook (FB) and Twitter should consider a merger or, at the very least, an advertising partnership.

Just remember where you heard that bit of sheer brilliance first.

Second, while I love Twitter, I'm concerned.

There's no question the company's investors and employees should be able to cash in on an IPO. It has become the American way, at least in certain parts of the world, particularly Silicon Valley. It's the new American dream. And it's most likely here to stay. It's not a runaway American dream.

That said, I want to see Twitter become whatever Twitter can become unabated by the pesky requirements of Wall Street investors. Because, there's no question -- Twitter, simply by making the choice to go public, will wind up something other than it would have been had it stayed private.

From a product and user experience standpoint, that might not be a good thing.

To a certain extent, companies such as Facebook and Pandora (P) sold their souls to Wall Street shortly after going public.

As I explain in the above-linked article, both companies, for better or worse, abandoned their social missions for the sake of revenue and the quest for profit. It depends on who you talk to, but more than a few people -- as they continue to use Facebook and Pandora obsessively -- will tell you that increased advertising and such has hurt the user experience. And I would argue it has taken away from Facebook's mission to connect the world and Pandora's pledge to be a champion for indie artists.

Priorities get out of whack. That's just how it goes. There's really no avoiding it.

Third, keep an eye on the mobile advertising space. Right now the major players are Google (GOOG), Facebook, Twitter and Pandora. These four collect a vast majority of these fast-growing dollars. And they'll all likely continue to be in the top ten, if not top five. However, others will come to play.

As Apple (AAPL) debuts iTunes Radio, it will ramp up its iAd Network, making it more of a mobile advertising force. And don't count out big media. Names such as CNN and CNBC -- two that I follow closely -- are doing incredible things digitally. Their parent companies (Time Warner (TWX) and Comcast (CMCSA) respectively) have deep pockets. And they're not sitting on their hands.

Time Warner and Comcast will make the digital/mobile push beyond obvious choices such as CNN and CNBC. They'll do it across their entities. And other big media will follow. These conglomerates can sell attractive packages that combine mobile, digital and traditional television advertising. Without a partnership or new and dynamic platform, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Google (though don't forget YouTube) cannot do this.

Here's my appearance on CNBC's Squawk Box from Friday morning talking Twitter IPO with the Squawk crew and Mike Isaac of All Things D:

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is a columnist and TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.

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