Fewer people celebrated New Year’s Eve 2020 on crowded streets. Instead, they turned to technology and connected with friends virtually over voice and video calls. According to a post by the social media platform Facebook, WhatsApp calls saw an increase of more than 50% compared to the same day last year. “More than 1.4 billion voice and video calls were made on New Year’s Eve 2020 globally,” the post states. This is ‘the most ever calls in a single day on WhatsApp’ it added.

“Before COVID-19, New Year’s Eve generated Facebook’s biggest spikes in messaging, photo uploads and social sharing at midnight across the world. 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. Behind the scenes, Facebook Engineering came together to drive unprecedented efficiency improvements and make our infrastructure more resilient. This work includes load testing, disaster recovery testing and shuffling capacity. 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”, Caitlin Banford, technical program manager at Facebook wrote in the post.

Facebook Messenger was another tool used by citizens. New Year’s Eve 2020 was the biggest day ever for Messenger group video calls (3+ people) in the US, with nearly 2X more group video calls on NYE compared to the average day. 2020 Fireworks was the top AR effect used on the day in Messenger. Talking about Instagram Live and Facebook Live, the post mentions that more than 55 million live broadcasts were done across both the platforms globally on New Year’s Eve.





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