Is This Tweet An Ad?

And you thought native advertizing was just for what used to be called magazines. The truth is: following the Peretti-fueled takeover of journalism by public relations, social media is now fast becoming a blur of p.r. and, you know, real messages from real people. The growth is staggering:

Native social advertising is growing significantly faster than social display, with native revenue growing 77% this year, according to the fall update to BIA/Kelsey’s U.S. Social Local Media Forecast. The native category is expected to generate $2.4 billion this year, up from $1.4 billion in 2012, driven primarily by the surge in social media activity across mobile platforms, the firm says … Social display ad revenue in the U.S. will grow from $4.3 billion in 2013 to $6.8 billion in 2017, or 12.6% annually, according to the forecast. During the same period, native social advertising — propelled by the category’s main players, Facebook’s Sponsored Stories and Twitter’s Promoted Tweets — will more than double, from $2.4 billion to nearly $5 billion, a 20.3% annual growth rate.

If that pace continues, there may be no old-school advertizing left: just countless tweets and posts created by corporations to sell things. Good luck finding out where the real world begins.