Twitter is to go public.

The social network announced - on Twitter, naturally - that it had submitted documents ahead of a planned flotation on the stock market.

The announcement explained that a form had been submitted to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ahead of a planned initial public offering (IPO).

Last night's tweet read: "We've confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This Tweet does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale."

The firm followed up the tweet with a picture of the Twitter offices and a message reading: "Now, back to work."

Twitter was founded in 2006 and is based in San Francisco. There are some 200 million users worldwide, including 10 million active users in the UK, and 400m tweets are sent a day.

It is one of the largest and most powerful social media platforms in the world and disseminates a huge volume of information throughout the world.

As it has grown, it has been used as a tool by celebrities, journalists and millions around the globe.

The announcement to float on the stock market has been long-expected for a while and is expected to be valued at up to 10 billion dollars.

The company, which recently installed a "report" button following a number of complaints of abuse on the site, has been using adverts to boost income ahead of the announcement.

The move comes after Facebook floated on the US stock market in May 2012 for 104 billion dollar (£66.2 billion) and, despite seeing an initial slump in shares, has since had a resurgence.