Quarantine measures in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic have forced many to arrange virtual meetings on New Year’s Eve instead of the usual feasts with friends, and this has markedly affected WhatsApp usage rates. Facebook’s chat app set a record ahead of the New Year.
Over the last 24 hours of the past 2020, 1.4 billion video and voice calls were made via WhatsApp – this is a new record. Moreover, this number turned out to be an impressive 50% more than on the same holiday in 2019. Moreover, the indicator exceeded the first days of the pandemic in March.
Other apps have set new records as well. For example, in the United States, Facebook Messenger had the highest number of group video calls (with 3 or more participants) – nearly double the daily average. Facebook Live and Instagram Live also reported 55 million streams worldwide.
Facebook said it had to achieve unprecedented efficiency gains and otherwise strengthen its infrastructure to cope with the severely heightened load across various applications during the pandemic. Specialist teams were on the alert even on New Year’s Eve. If the calls via WhatsApp went smoothly, it was only thanks to the work of the IT administrators who provided it.
The WhatsApp record may not be surpassed anytime soon. At least in theory, mass vaccinations are meant to make a joint New Year’s celebration a reality again. However, the fact itself is just another example of how Internet telephony played a crucial role in keeping people connected at a difficult time.
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