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Snapchat maker prepares to go public valued as high as $22B

Snap knocks a bit off its expectations for riches, but its IPO is still likely to be, well, spectacular.

The Snapchat Spectacles.
Josh Miller/CNET

You might still think of Snapchat as that sexting app, or the way teens obsessively communicate with each other.

Wall Street now knows it as the next big thing.

Snap, the company behind Snapchat's short-lived photos and videos, on Thursday filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission updated paperwork detailing its initial public offering. It's preparing to sell up to 230 million shares priced between $14 and $16 a share. That would raise as much as $3.6 billion for the company and give it a valuation in the range of $19.5 billion to $22.2 billion, at the low end of its earlier estimate of $20 billion to $25 billion.

Now playing: Watch this: 5 things we learned about Snapchat from its IPO

Founded by a college dropout, Snap has emerged as one of the tech industry's newest power players, competing with social media and communications giants including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Line and Tencent. Each day, 158 million people on average use its service and create over 2.5 billion Snaps -- that is, images and short videos. It's especially popular with young adults, a coveted demographic.

It has also generated a great deal of buzz with its Spectacles -- brightly colored glasses equipped to record video.

The market debut of the 5-year-old Los Angeles company, set to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SNAP, will be the largest one for a tech company in several years.

Snap declined CNET's request for further comment.

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