WhatsApp users the world over made more than 1.4 billion voice and video calls on New Year’s Eve, the most ever calls in a single day on the platform, Facebook said.
As COVID-19 made meeting with friends and family tough, WhatsApp calling on New Year’s Eve 2020 increased over 50 percent compared to the same day last year, the company said on Friday.
Video calling became arguably the most in-demand feature in 2020 as people turned to technology to stay in touch and get things done in the face of social distancing and stay-at-home mandates.
“Before COVID-19, New Year’s Eve generated Facebook’s biggest spikes in messaging, photo uploads and social sharing at midnight across the world. However, in March 2020, the early days of the pandemic produced traffic spikes that would dwarf New Year’s Eve several times over — and it lasted for months,” Caitlin Banford, Technical Programme Manager at Facebook, said in a statement.
“This year, New Year’s Eve looked a lot different, and we had engineering teams across Facebook’s apps, ready to support any issue, so the world could ring in 2021.”
People celebrated with effects in Messenger, and the top AR (augmented reality) effect in the US was “2020 Fireworks.”
Facebook said that New Year’s Eve 2020 was the biggest day ever for Messenger group video calls (3+ people) in the US, with nearly 2X more group video calls on the day compared to the average day.
There were more than 55 million live broadcasts across Facebook and Instagram globally on New Year’s Eve, the company said.