WhatsApp: Over 1.4 billion video and voice calls made on New Year’s Eve globally

More than 1.4 billion voice and video calls were made on New Year’s Eve 2020 globally, which is over 50 percent increase compared to the same day last year, Facebook has revealed in a blog post. This is the also most ever calls in a single day on the messaging app, the post added. WhatsApp is one of the largest messaging platforms with over 2 billion active users worldwide. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, which forced people to stay inside, more users turned to video and voice calling to stay in touch with their loved ones.

“At Facebook, we saw surges in video chatting all year across Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, and last night was no exception. New Year’s Eve is a historically busy night for our services, but this year set new records,” the company said in its post.

On Facebook Messenger, “2020 Fireworks” was the top AR effect in the US. A record number of group video calls were made on Messenger in the US. Though the company did not reveal exact numbers, it pointed out that 2x more group video calls were made on New Year’s Eve compared to the average day. Finally, more than 55 million live broadcasts were made across Facebook and Instagram worldwide on New Year’s Eve.

Notably, Facebook did not reveal the number of messages sent on WhatsApp this time. Last year, a record 100 billion private messages were sent on New Year’s Eve globally. In India alone, 20 billion messages were sent on the messaging app.

“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 program manager at Facebook said.

“Behind the scenes, Facebook Engineering came together to drive unprecedented efficiency improvements and make our infrastructure more resilient. This work includes load testing, disaster recovery testing and shuffling capacity. 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.” she added.

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