WhatsApp hit record numbers on New Year’s Eve as people around the world largely heeded the advice to avoid congregating, resulting in 1.4bn voice and video calls being made on the platform on 31 December, the most ever calls in a single day on WhatsApp, and 50 per cent up on the figure for 31 December 2019.
New Year’s Eve 2020 was also the biggest day ever for Messenger group video calls – involving three or more people – in the US, almost twice as many as an average day. The top augmented reality effect used on Messenger in the US was ‘2020 Fireworks’, as people sought to replicate the traditional New Year’s Eve firework display virtually.
Instagram Live and Facebook Live also saw more than 55m live broadcasts on New Year’s Eve. The figures were revealed in a Facebook blog post.
“Like all of 2020…New Year’s Eve was different,” the post said. “There were fewer crowds celebrating in the streets around the world. Instead, more people spent a cozy night at home looking back on a difficult year and hoping for brighter days ahead. Despite so many being apart from friends and family due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people were still able to connect with each other the same way they’ve been connecting all year: through online video and audio calling, and in record numbers.”