Twitter has said its initial public offering would raise up to $1.6bn and value the company at up to about $11bn.

The valuation was more conservative than the $15bn (€10bn) some analysts had expected for the social media microblogging site.

Twitter had signalled for weeks it would price its IPO modestly to avoid the sort of stock plummet that spoiled Facebook's coming-out party.

It said yesterday it intends to sell 70 million shares between $17 and $20 apiece, raking in up to $1.4bn for the company.  

If underwriters choose to sell an additional allotment of 10.5 million shares, the offer could raise as much as $1.6bn.

Twitter's offering will be the most high-profile internet IPO since Facebook's May 2012 debut, when the social network giant's shares fell below their offering price and did not recover until a year later.

Still, the modest pricing does not obscure questions about Twitter's profitability.     

"The fact that the valuation is lower than expectations, I think was smart by the underwriters. I think it will help the pop," said Michael Yoshikami of Destinational Weath Management.        

"But in the end, even for $11bn, the question is can they come up with earnings to substantiate that number? And it's unclear that they're going to be able to do that."  

At a roughly $11bn valuation, Twitter would be worth more than Yelp and AOL combined, but only a fraction of tech giants such as Google and Apple, worth $342bn and $483bn respectively.

Facebook's market value is now $128bn.