What first attracted me to Twitter and social media six years ago was that you could achieve world wide marketing for free. It’s called organic reach. This enabled bloggers to build global brands.

That is changing.

In 2014 we are seeing the rapid emergence of “pay to play” to reach your followers. So a question needs to be asked.

Is the social media “free lunch” over?

That also leads to another question. Is social going the way of mass media where the only way to gain attention is to pull out the check book?

The answer is much more complex than that. It is dependent on many factors including your choice of social networks, tactics and tools.

Is Twitter’s organic reach going to disappear too?

Facebook is pushing the comfort boundaries of organic reach.

That was shown by reader’s reactions to a post I wrote on”Why You Should Forget Facebook” which saw nearly over 270,000 views and nearly 1,000 comments when posted on LinkedIn.

For Twitter  though the filtering is not an option as it is a news breaking social network. Applying filtering algorithms to it’s stream will take away its meaning for existence and continuing evolution.

You only have to look at its latest hiring trends that are mass media and television centric to realize that Twitter is pushing towards the integration of television, social and mass media.

That focused strategy by Twitter management to make mass media and social work together is maybe one of the reasons that its latest quarter two results that exceeded every analysts expectations. The World Cup marketing coup by Twitter was evidence of that successful and ongoing evolution.

I don’t expect Twitter’s organic reach to disappear as it has too much to lose if it takes the Facebook path. It’s not in its DNA.

Twitter facts and statistics

Below are some surprising facts and statistics that show Twitter is on the path to successfully reinventing itself.

  1. There was a 24% increase in monthly active users (MAU) over the last 4 quarters with the total now at 271 million.
  2. Twitter has added 53 million users in the last 12 months
  3. Twitter’s monthly mobile users now total 211 million, which is a gain of 29%
  4. 81% of Twitter’s advertising revenue came from mobile ads
  5. Increase in sales is up 124% from a year ago at $312 million compared to $139.3 million in second quarter of 2013
  6. Twitter expects to have revenue of between $330 and $340 million in the third quarter of 2014
  7. Twitter is growing the fastest in Asia Pacific with expectations it will increase its user base by more than 33% in 2014 according to eMarketer
  8. Twitter penetration rates in Asia Pacific stand at 19.8% for Japan, 18.3% for for Indonesia and 12.2% in Australia
  9. Twitter penetration rates in the USA stand at 27.9% of all social networks users, 19.2% of internet users and 15.2% of the total population
  10. In the USA the number of Adult Twitter users is estimated at 34.7 million
  11. Timeline views reached 173 billion for the the second quarter of 2014
  12. Twitter is currently valued at $27.3 billion which is 200 times forward earnings compared to Facebook at 39.4 times
  13. During the World Cup there were 672 million tweets
  14. Germany’s defeat of Argentina in the final generated 618,000 tweets per second
  15. There were 32.1 million Tweets during the World Cup final
  16. The previous record for an event was the Superbowl, and that received 24.9 million tweets
  17. Twitter spends more than its competitors on stock based compensation as a percentage of revenue on its employees at $158 million (50.29%) compared to Facebook (10.9%) and LinkedIn (14.3%)
  18. Advertising revenue per thousand timeline views reached $1.60 in the second quarter of 2014 which is an increase of 100% over the last year
  19. Katy Perry has the most Twitter followers currently at over 55 million followed by Justin Bieber (53 million) and Barack Obama (44 million)
  20. Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks than those without
What about you?

What facts and figures surprised you? Did you think Twitter was declining or growing? Do you think you should be using Twitter more for your marketing and brand awareness?

Look forward to your insights and feedback in the comments below.

This article was originally published by Jeff Bullas