WhatsApp set new call record during socially distanced New Year's Eve

Many people observed common sense and participated in safe, socially distanced New Year's Eve celebrations last week — something that heavily involved messaging services and voice calls. According to Facebook, its WhatsApp platform saw a record number of calls over the holiday, with more than 1.4 billion video and voice calls having taken place around the world.

Facebook was one of the companies that saw unprecedented demand for its services around March 2020 when the pandemic was declared. Many people were suddenly working from home and avoiding friends and family, leading to a huge increase in messaging and calls. Facebook previously detailed its efforts to deal with the traffic increase.

In its final update for 2020, Facebook said that New Year's Eve represented the single most calls ever made on WhatsApp in a single day, with more than a 50-percent increase compared to New Year's Eve 2019. Messenger also saw a new record with the most group video calls in the US.

As far as US-based Messenger users were concerned, the top augmented reality effect used on NYE was, as you'd expect, the '2020 Fireworks' option. Both Facebook and Instagram were heavily used to live broadcast celebrations, as well, with more than 55 million live sessions on the final day of 2020.

The use of these sorts of platforms isn't likely to decrease any time soon. Though vaccines have started rolling out, COVID-19 cases are climbing and it is expected to take months — at best — before the general public can visit their nearest health provider to get vaccinated.