Twitter has no plan to go public in the near future and does not need additional funds because it is making money, the co-founder of the popular microblogging site has said.

Biz Stone also dismissed reports that JPMorgan Chase & Co was in talks to buy 10% of Twitter for $450m, which would have valued the company at $4.5 billion. 'We have so many other things before we even think about that,' Stone told Reuters when asked about the prospects of an IPO.

'We are not even discussing it internally. It's too far off,' the 36-year-old said, adding that Twitter had no plans to raise funds over the next 12 months. The company, created in 2006, employs about 350 people.

Valuations for social networking companies have soared, with Facebook's recent $1.5 billion round of financing led by Goldman Sachs giving the firm a projected value of $50 billion.

Twitter, which allows users to send short, 140-character text messages, or Tweets, to groups of followers, is one of the web's most popular social networking services along with Facebook and LinkedIn and had 175 million users as of September.

Social networking services are a growing challenge to Web players such as Google , Microsoft and Yahoo, competing for users online and advertising dollars, raising speculation Twitter may become the target of a takeover bid.

Last month, Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen's venture capital outfit invested $80m in Twitter. In December, Twitter said it raised $200m a deal that valued the company at $3.7 billion, less than a year after it began its first serious efforts to make money.

Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers was the lead investor which included existing Twitter investors. Stone, who reportedly pronounced his given name Christopher as 'Bizober' when he was learning to talk and decided to abbreviate it later to Biz, created Twitter with Evan Williams and Jack Dorsey in 2006.

He left Google at around the same time with Williams to start a new podcasting project and later worked to improve the then-popular text message to create Twitter.

It has since become a popular communication tool for celebrities, politicians and businesses, and played a role in several geopolitical events including the recent uprising in Egypt.

Stone said Twitter wanted to remain independent and was not in any formal bid talks. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Google and Facebook have held low-level takeover talks with Twitter that give the Internet sensation a value as high as $10 billion.

Industry research firm eMarketer said in January that Twitter, which does not provide financial information, generated an estimated $45m from advertising in 2010 and was expected to generate about $150m this year.