Yesterday on its blog, Twitter announced that X Factor USA fans can now vote via Direct Message (DM). In the update, Twitter said “Now [Twitter users] can officially affect the outcome of the show by voting for which contestants should stay and which ones need to go”. Given that DM’s are free to send, this decision marks a radical departure from the relentless milking of the mobile cash cow as provided by text votes. Through empowering Twitter peeps to have a real impact on the vote (instead of just an influence) more people may be driven to Twitter to discuss the vote, boosting the chance of the show “Trending” and building awareness globally. Does this change of heart mean that X Factor has finally recognized the non-monetary value of social media? Is the power of the hashtag becoming greater than the dollar?