The holidays are traditionally about connecting to our loved ones. The global health crisis made this very tough and made us spend the holidays very differently. New Year’s Eve is typically a time of increased usage of social media. Facebook is reporting that the holiday brought record numbers for WhatsApp.
WhatsApp’s Record Numbers for New Year’s Eve
You undoubtedly spent New Year’s Eve 2020 much differently than in years past. This is, of course, due to the global health crisis. But you weren’t the only one. Many people were not able to spend this time with their friends and family.
They didn’t do without, though, choosing to connect with social media and video calls, as they have done since the pandemic first became a concern earlier this year. Facebook reported that they saw surges in video chatting across its services that also include Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
“Before COVID-19, New Year’s Eve generated Facebook’s biggest spikes in messaging, photo uploads, and social sharing at midnight across the world,” reported Caitlin Banford, technical program manager at Facebook. “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.”
Banford went on to explain, “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.”
Breakdown of Numbers
While WhatsApp set a record, so did Facebook’s other apps. 2020 has brought unemployment to many, but it’s also boosted a few businesses, such as online shopping. It’s also boosted video calling services and social media apps.
Globally, WhatsApp had more than 1.4 billion voice and video calls on New Year’s Eve this year. This is the most ever calls it has experienced in a single day. Calling on WhatsApp increased more than 50 percent over the number of calls one year earlier.
Over on Messenger, the top AR effect in the United States was “2020 Fireworks,” as people were striving to find a way to celebrate with their loved ones. It was the best numbers ever for group video calls with nearly two times as many as New Year’s Eve 2019.
It was also a big day for live video on social media. There were more than 55 million live videos across Facebook and Instagram throughout the world.
Among with the record numbers of users in social media, are kids who are using the services as well to connect to their grandparents, aunt and uncles, friends, etc. Read on to find out how to keep your kids safe online.