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WhatsApp Clocked Over 1.4 Billion Voice and Video Calls on New Year's Eve Globally, Breaks its Old Record

Facebook's New Year's Eve stats.

Facebook's New Year's Eve stats.

The growth in video and voice calls across Facebook platforms is mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic that pushed people to stay indoors, even on December 31, 2019, to ensure their safety and social distancing.

WhatsApp clocked more than 1.4 billion voice and video calls on this New Year's Eve globally - breaking all its previous records. According to Facebook, WhatsApp calling also increased by 50 percent compared to the last New Year's Eve. The growth in video and voice calls is mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic that pushed people to stay indoors, even on December 31, 2019, to ensure their safety and social distancing. In India, several state governments placed a curfew from 11 PM to 6 AM between December 31 and January 1, 2021, amid fears over the new trace of coronavirus.

Facebook, in a blog post, further shares that more than 55 million live broadcasts took place across Facebook and Instagram globally on New Year's Eve. Its Messenger also saw a huge amount of traffic as video calling on the platform doubled in comparison to the same day in 2018. However, this growth only pertains to Messenger users in the US, while its global stats remain unclear. The company says that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, New Year's Eve generated Facebook's biggest spikes in messaging, photo uploads and social sharing at midnight across the world. In March 2020, the early days of the pandemic produced traffic spikes that would dwarf its New Year's Eve stats several times over which further lasted for months.

Additionally, Facebook technical programme manager Caitlin Banford says that the company has deployed infrastructure improvements to cope with the growing traffic in video and voice calls across WhatsApp and other platforms. "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," the Facebook executive said.

Facebook may continue to notice this increase in video and voice calls across WhatsApp and other platforms as the company is bringing more support through different channels. For instance, the social media giant is stated to add video calling feature for WhatsApp Web. It may also come to Instagram's web client, eventually.


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