2020 was an atypical year due to COVID-19. Throughout the year, video calls became the most useful communication tool for both companies and users. In December, this trend continued due to social distancing policy, and on New Year’s Eve, WhatsApp was one of the top leaders.
The Facebook messaging service was the great favorite of users to connect with their loved ones. According to the company, users made 1.4 billion calls and video calls through WhatsApp on December 31. It implies a new record for the application, a figure never before reached in a day since it was launched there in 2009.
New Year’s Eve, a perfect time for communicating
Usually, New Year’s Eve is a date when people send lots of messages. WhatsApp always reaches record numbers, but this year-end, text messages were not the main focus, but calls and video calls. According to Facebook figures, there was a 50% increase in comparison to 2019.
It is not so impressive, given that from December 2019 to March 2020, the number of video calls in the world had an astonishing increase: From barely 10 million per day to 200 million, according to data from the World Economic Forum. So, due to the social distancing policy, it was expected that users would once again use this tool to communicate with their beloved ones.
Unlike other years, this time the arrival of the New Year could not be celebrated massively. Times Square, for example, an icon of the New Year’s Eve celebrations in the United States, was almost deserted. The day before, the New York Police told the population not to attend the event this year.
Facebook Messenger also reached records
WhatsApp wasn’t the only service from Facebook companies to set records. According to the company, New Year’s Eve was also the day when users made more video calls with more than three participants in the history of Facebook Messenger. It was twice as many as in 2019.
In addition to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, other services from Mark Zuckerberg’s company served to communicate on New Year’s Eve. The company realized that during this celebration, more than 55 million live broadcasts were made through platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.
Will WhatsApp continue its leadership in 2021?
WhatsApp currently has more than 2 billion users, a figure reached in early 2020. This year, its user base could grow, although other apps such as Telegram, which in 2018 celebrated its 200 million users, could also gain prominence. To date, there is no more data available, but it is almost certain that it is not yet close to the market share of the famous Facebook app.
When Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014, it ensured that the social network and messaging service would be kept separate. And so it was for a few years. However, Mark Zuckerberg’s strategy has changed, and we have seen this in the company’s most recent moves. With this update to WhatsApp, integration with Facebook is a fact.
As of this date, users who continue to use WhatsApp will have to agree to have their data integrated with Facebook services. It includes the transfer of their account registration information, data on how users interact when using Facebook services, operations data, IP address, and even mobile device information such as battery charge, signal strength, or hardware model.
Due to this change, many users will start looking for alternatives such as Telegram or Line to communicate. However, this is only a possibility. Could WhatsApp lose its leadership in the coming years? The figures for next New Year’s Eve might give us an idea.