WhatsApp users in India sent over 20 billion messages on December 31 as they ushered in 2018 with wishes to family and friends. In a release, WhatsApp revealed that of the 75 billion messages shared on New Year’s Eve, 20 billion were just from India. These figures the highest-ever number of messages shared on the platform, which has over 1 billion users worldwide and counts India as its biggest market with 200 million users. It is notable that WhatsApp suffered an outage lasting more than an hour late on December 31, 2017 and in the early hours from January 1, 2018.
In a statement, WhatsApp said the 75 billion messages sent worldwide included more than 13 billion images and 5 billion videos. The company says it recorded this data is only for 12am to 11:59pm PST on December 31.
While this data represents huge volume and user activity on the platform, WhatsApp disappointed many in India when it went down as the clock struck midnight on January 1. The service went down across the country and users were unable to send messages to their loved ones for more than an hour. At the time, no reason for the outage was given by the company, which only said, “WhatsApp users around the world experienced a brief outage today that has now been resolved.”
In 2017, the Facebook-owned app introduced a number of new features and changes to the platform. These include the option to delete sent messages, arguably the biggest new feature since the blue ticks were introduced. Similarly, there were features such as the all-new Status, live location sharing, etc. to keep users engaged. However, co-founder Brian Acton also left WhatsApp in 2017 to “start a non-profit focused at the intersection of nonprofit, technology and communications.”