Case study: Twitition allows users to create, sign and share petitions using Twitter

By The Drum Team, Editorial




December 2, 2011 | 7 min read

This case study outlines the strategy behind Twitition: an online petition application which allows Twitter users to create, sign and share petitions.

This case study outlines the strategy behind Twitition: an online petition application which allows Twitter users to create, sign and share petitions. You wouldn’t expect to see an application designed and developed by a small agency in Leeds nestled between names such as Kylie Minogue, Piers Morgan, and James Cordon; riding high amongst the most popular Twitter accounts in the world. However, to date @Twitition has almost 1.2 million followers, placing it firmly alongside (and even above…) some of the richest and most famous people on this planet.Beginning as just a fun internal experiment, Branded3’s in-house website – – is an online petition application which allows Twitter users to create, sign and share any petition they want. From fun topics and outrageous desires, to life-changing and serious subjects; Twitition provides the platform for freedom of speech which can take you one step closer to achieving ambitions. Just three days after launch, Twitition became the first ever site to get 10,000 re-tweets of a single link, and was subsequently mentioned in dozens of major UK and US newspapers. Its continued success in the 18 months since launch has been incredible, and demonstrates the immediate and widespread nature of social media. So where did it all begin?Over a full Sunday breakfast and a morning paper, a simple idea was born: to take petitions to the social media realm. Branded3’s Director of Search, Patrick Altoft, made his way straight to the office armed with an idea to put the viral effect of social media to the test. Experiments like this certainly aren’t rare at Branded3, and by innovating and creating fresh ideas like these; the agency can ensure they always deliver the most bespoke and highest-quality solutions. With the increasing cost of advertising and marketing, social media has been welcomed by many businesses and companies wanting to find a cheaper, yet more effective method of getting their brand name out there. Having produced and implemented a number of successful social media campaigns for their clients, Branded3 are always looking for new ways to meet their objectives whilst remaining cost-effective, and utilising social media provides this opportunity.Relying upon the natural viral effect of social media; the time put in by the Branded3 team was the only cost incurred. As such, the success of the project has shown that social media marketing – when embarked upon in the right way – doesn’t always require an endless supply of money.Creating a powerful tool:From the moment Patrick thought of Twitition, the Branded3 team were quick to start brainstorming ideas for design and implementation. The team designed a fun and accessible interface, ensuring there were no restrictions on target audience. Combining collective social media expertise, Branded3 made sure that the message about Twitition’s launch spread as far as it could.Using the Twitter API, we ensured that logging in was as quick and simple as it could be, allowing users to sign a Twitition with literally the click of a button. Creating a Twitition is equally as simple, with users simply having to think of a title and a description for their chosen petition, and clicking ‘create.’ The Twitition is then automatically tweeted out from the creator’s account, which is then seen by their followers, and from the tweet, they can click on the link to the Twitition sign it if they wish. The Twitition link is then automatically tweeted out from this user’s Twitter account, thus the viral effect takes hold and the Twitition spreads through the Twitter world.Within just a week, the Branded3 team had designed and developed the Twitition application. Now it was time to put the theory into practice…One of the first Twitition’s was created by Patrick, petitioning for mobile phone network O2 to offer reasonable iPhone 3GS upgrades. From the moment the Twitition was sent out from Patrick’s account, angry iPhone users everywhere were signing the petition – and the Branded3 team watched as the number of signatures crept up into the thousands. In just three days, the Twitition had been re-tweeted 10,000 times – becoming the first site to ever do so. Not only had Twitition worked, but it was breaking records. Its sudden success led to dozens of major US and UK newspapers and news sites writing articles about the Twitition, including the LA Times, the Guardian, the BBC, Sky News, and the Telegraph. Twitition was a success, but this was just the beginning…Watching Twitition take off…The word about Twitition was getting out, and its popularity was growing by the day. In amongst the fun and light-hearted Twititions (many focused around Justin Bieber…!) there’d be the odd one which had all the potential and importance to really make a difference.Twitition has been the chosen platform for raising awareness for various funds and charities, recently including that of a terminally-ill little boy, whose mother created a Twitition to boost exposure of his condition and warn others of the signs. With thousands of signatures, the Twitition became one of the most popular ones.But as a platform created for opinions and vast exposure, sometimes Twitition finds itself at the focus of deliberate attack. Back in April, Twitition became the subject of random DDoS attacks, and research found that these seemed to stem from petitions on the site to free Ai Weiwei – the prominent Chinese artist and activist who had been arrested by Beijing authorities. Although the Branded3 team worked quickly to resolve these interferences, what the incident shows us is Twitition’s ability to influence the proposed party, and spark action. Less life-changing but exciting nonetheless, Twitition has also reached the celeb world; having been re-tweeted by Queen of pop Lady Gaga, teen star Justin Bieber, and YouTube sensation Rebecca Black. With this extended reach and the fact that the petition could actually reach the intended people, Branded3 have created an influential and unique platform for voices to be heard and changes to be made.The future of Twitition:To date, Twitition has almost 1.2 million Twitter followers, and is in the top 500 most popular Twitter accounts in the world. The results Branded3 have achieved with Twitition have been outstanding, and the success continues to grow. Having won seven awards, the achievements won in such a short time is exceptional, and testament to Branded3’s talent and hard-work.What began as an internal exercise is now not only a reflection of the power of social media; but also an outlet for Twitter users who want to share something they feel passionately about. These Twitition’s also have the power to reach those intended, surpassing the speed and effect of the traditional petitioning method. As Twitition’s popularity continues to increase and its reach and power progresses, the ability for it to make a real difference is growing. Who knows, maybe the next Twitition really could change the world… This case study was awarded best in-house website or campaign and best use of social media at the DADI Awards. It also received a nomination in the category of best innovation at the Social Buzz Awards.

Twitition Twitter followers

Twitition global reach

Twitition traffic over two years

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