1.4 billion: the number of audio and video calls made on WhatsApp on New Year’s Eve. A historic record for the application, which increased its statistics by 50% compared to last year’s New Year’s Eve . By preventing loved ones from meeting in person, the Covid-19 pandemic has likely caused users to fall back on the messaging app.
2020 has definitely been the year of online messaging. While WhatsApp passed the 2 billion user mark last February, Facebook announces that the application has reached a new record: 1.4 billion voice and video calls were made on New Year’s Eve through the world. The group specifies that this is an increase of 50% compared to last year, on the same date.
WhatsApp is not the only one to have been in great demand on New Year’s Eve. Messenger also beat its number of group video calls in the United States, doubling its usual average on other days of the year. Facebook and Instagram, meanwhile, broadcast more than 55 million Live cumulatively on December 31.
Covid-19 pandemic allows WhatsApp to beat record of past calls
The special arrangements put in place for the New Year in many countries are surely not unrelated to these exceptional figures. Between confinement and curfew, many families were unable to reunite for a New Year’s Eve party, prompting most of them to fall back on the messaging application.
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“Ahead of Covid-19, New Years Eve generated Facebook’s biggest peaks in messaging, photo uploading and social sharing at midnight across the world. However, in March 2020, the first days of the pandemic produced spikes in traffic that would eclipse New Year’s Eve several times – and that lasted for months. ”, explains Caitlin Banford, technical program manager at Facebook.
“Behind the scenes, Facebook Engineering has come together to deliver unprecedented efficiency improvements and make our infrastructure more resilient ”, she continues. “This year New Years Eve was very different and we had teams of engineers in Facebook applications ready to take care of any problem so that the world could make calls in 2021”.