Snapchat stocks could be trading on Wall Street before the end of 2016, according to a report that said the social messaging app is already looking toward an initial public offering.

The Los Angeles startup has been in discussions with investment bankers about filing for an IPO, The Information said on Wednesday. Snapchat is eyeing an IPO that could occur anywhere between the end of 2016 and early 2017, the report said

"Whether and when we go public will depend on a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control," a Snapchat spokeswoman told The Information.

In Silicon Valley it has become the norm for tech companies to wait and accrue as many private rounds of investments as possible. This is why major firms like Uber, Airbnb and Dropbox remain private. But Snapchat, which is just five years old, is already well poised to trade publicly and may decide to jump on that opportunity.

The company is on pace to generate $366.69 million in advertising revenue this year and nearly $1 billion in 2017, according to a report this week by eMarketer. Those revenue figures are promising for a company that only began raking in ad dollars a year ago.

That eMarketer report also showed that Snapchat already captures 31.6 percent of social network users in the U.S. A separate eMarketer report predicted that Snapchat will surpass Twitter in active U.S. users this year. That type of growth puts Snapchat behind only Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram when it comes to social media in the U.S.

Published on: Sep 7, 2016