It was already expected that New Year’s Eve 2020 and New Year’s Day 2021 would really be different this time around because of the pandemic. And of course, video calling and messaging apps would be pretty much in demand during these times when most of us can’t spend the holidays with our loved ones. Facebook says they had record-breaking numbers during New Year’s Eve for their main app as well as their other brands like Messenger, Instagram, and especially WhatsApp.
Messaging app WhatsApp had the most calls ever made on a single day during New Year’s Eve, experiencing a 50-percent increase compared to last year on the same day. Basically, more than 1.4 billion voice and video calls were made globally on the platform. It’s not really surprising that a lot of people had to resort to voice and video calls but a little over a billion calls is definitely a lot, even for a popular app like WhatsApp.
New Year’s Eve was also a big moment for Messenger group video calls, at least in the US. There were nearly 2 times more group video calls compared to the average day. They didn’t really say how many that is though. And obviously, the top AR effect on that day is the “2020 Fireworks”. If you can’t fire actual fireworks than virtual ones are the next best thing of course. The record numbers don’t include the messages, emojis, GIFs exchanged but it probably was pretty high as well.
Facebook and Instagram were also pretty busy, specifically the Live functions of the platforms. More than 55 million live broadcasts were done over the two apps during New Year’s Eve all over the world. If you couldn’t watch an actual live countdown, you had a lot of choices as to which live broadcast you could watch and celebrate from the comfort and safety of your own home. Or maybe it’s you in your own home that’s doing the live broadcast as well.
The number of users for all of Facebook’s properties will probably not slow down in the next few months. Despite the existence of a vaccine, numbers are still rising so it’s still best for those living in areas with rising cases to just work from home and avoid going out as much as possible. Video and messaging apps will help stop us from going stir crazy.