BROKEN NEWS: Facebook v X (Twitter) v Threads: Which one was the busiest social media channel in the school concrete crisis?

Ever since the riots of 2011, Twitter – now known as X – has been the place where news and hot topics have broken but 12 years on… is it still?

Since the Elon Musk takeover, the platform has renamed as X and placed a limit on the number of updates that can be seen. That’s blunted the key advantage of the platform in an unfolding drama.

But what now? Is it Threads? Or still X? Or Facebook? It’s a regular question I’m being asked and there’;s a sense of confusion.

The simple answer is that the dice are still up in the air and its only really when a major incident unfolds that we’ll see where they come down. 

In September 2023, days before the start of term more than 100 schools were told they had dangerous concrete on their premises at risk of collapse. Overnight, ‘RAAC’ or ‘Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete’ became a hot search term on Google.  

Google Trends: The search term RAAC over the last 30 days

But where did people go to debate and discuss?

To find out, I chose seven schools at random and ran searches on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook and the new challenger Threads.

I measured posts and reshares giving them both equal weight. So, an update on Facebook shared 10 times has a score of 11.

Here’s what I found out. 

Overall, there were 505 countable updates.

Facebook saw 82.4 of the updates

X (formerly Twitter) saw 17.4 per cent of the updates

Threads saw 0.0 per cent of the updates 

Now, nobody should tear up their emergency plan based on just this.

But what we can draw from this is that for a slow burning running story, schools matter Facebook is where debate may well play out. 

X (formerly Twitter) has less than 20 per cent and there was not a single post on Threads.

It’s important to remember that this is a snapshot of one national news story in late 2023. But what this does indicate is that Facebook isn’t going away any time soon. If X (formerly Twitter) can take any comfort is that It also shows Threads has yet to take root.

We are in an environment of constant change and evolution. It pays to pay close attention when the next crisis takes shape where the activity will be. 

Raw data

Wood Green Academy, Wednesbury, Sandwell (all face to face teaching)

On X (formerly known as Twitter) 11 individual tweets with 32 retweets.

On Facebook, 9 public updates with 310 reshares.

No updates on Threads.

St Andrew’s Junior School, Hatfield Peverel, Essex (Start of term delayed) 

On X, two individual tweets with two retweets.  

On Facebook, no updates. 

No updates on Threads.

Abbey Lane School, Sheffield (all face to face teaching)  with a kitchen closed

On X, 13 tweets with 10 retweets including Hallam FM and Sheffield City Council.

On Facebook, 7 posts including the MP with 4 reshares.

No updates on Threads.

Myatt Garden Primary School, Lewisham (all face-to-face teaching) 

On X, 3 tweets with 1 RT

On Facebook, no updates. 

On Threads, no updates

Outwoods Primary School, Atherstone, Warwickshire (start of term delayed) 

On X, 6 tweets with 6 RTs

On Facebook, 1 post.

On Threads, no updates

St John Bosco Catholic Primary, Sunderland (mix of face-to-face and remote) 

On X, 7 tweets with no RTS.

On Facebook, 2 updates 27 shares

On Threads, no updates.

Donnington Wood Infant School and Nursery, Telford & Wrekin (all pupils in face-to-face education). 

On X, 4 tweets, 2 RTs

On Facebook, 3 updates, 75 shares. 

On Threads, no updates. 

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