US X Factor judge Simon Cowell says he wants fans to use Twitter to vote for their favourite contestants.

The Fox show has announced that from November 2, fans can cast a ballot by sending a direct message over Twitter to the official X Factor account. Viewers can also cast a ballot on the show’s Facebook page and its official website.

“It’s a sign of the times,” said Simon, who believes more votes will come in as a result of expanding the process. “Sites like Twitter and Facebook give (the audience) a much bigger voice.”

Aside from social media, votes can be sent the old-fashioned way, by making a phone call or sending a text message and by using a special App created for Verizon Android devices.

Simon uses the internet to gauge what people think of the series so far. He goes online during and after the show to see what people are saying and plans to join Twitter once he learns ‘how to type quicker’.

On Tuesday’s first live show, five acts were cut leaving 12 remaining contestants. With the competition heating Simon, so has the tension among its judges, who are each mentoring a class of contestants. Cowell has the girls, LA Reid is mentoring the boys, Paula Abdul is helping the groups and Nicole Scherzinger has the solo acts over 30.

Simon says Paula claims to have the hardest category to mentor, but disagrees with her. He mentored the groups in the UK version of the show and ‘loved doing it’.