Facebook was expecting a traffic spike on its apps over New Year’s Eve, but this year broke all previous records for voice and video calling on its apps.
“Together, even when apart” was the tune we all danced to this New Year’s Eve as “together IRL” was ruled out due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is still going strong across the globe. NYE was very different this year, as people celebrated (mostly) at home, and so many connected with each other using one app or another.
“Before COVID-19, New Year’s Eve generated Facebook’s biggest spikes in messaging, photo uploads and social sharing at midnight across the world” explains 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.”
So, Facebook was prepared for the traditional NYE spike – one that broke all previous records this year.
On WhatsApp, over 1.4 billion voice and video calls were made on New Year’s Eve 2020 around the world, marking the most ever calls in a single day on the app. Compared to the year before, WhatsApp calling increased over 50%.
On Messenger users celebrated New Year’s Ever 2020 with effects. Unsurprisingly, therefore, the top AR effect in the US was “2020 Fireworks.” NYE 2020 saw the most Messenger group video calls with over 3 people in the US. The app saw almost double the number of group video calls on NYE compared to an average day.
Similarly, Instagram Live and Facebook Live saw a huge increase in live broadcasts, with over 55 million taking place across both Facebook and Instagram globally.