Whether you’re in a fish market in India, or in a classroom, or on a bus, one thing that truly captures the zeitgeist of the country is the constant buzzing “ping! ping! ping!” WhatsApp notifications you hear everywhere. On the last day of 2016, Indians outdid themselves on those notifications.
On December 31, WhatsApp claims a total of 14 billion messages were sent on its platform, 32 per cent of which were in some form of media (photos, GIFs, videos, voice messages). So if you sent everyone on your friends list a picture with the words ‘Happy New Year 2017’ scrawled across it, congratulations. You made sure you were part of a larger trend.
To put this 14 million messages in perspective, the highest number of messages sent across one day on WhatsApp before this was during Diwali 2016 – with nearly 8 billion messages shared. WhatsApp further added 3.1 billion images, 700 million GIFs and 610 million videos were part of this total of 14 billion messages during New Year’s Eve.
WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, has over 160 million actively monthly users on its platform in India alone, making it a major market for the company. Overall WhatsApp has 1 billion monthly active users across the world.
“WhatsApp continues to be an essential part of our lives. Whether it is celebrating festivals and occasions with friends and family or staying connected, WhatsApp is an integral mode of communication for people to connect, transcending miles and distance. WhatsApp has continued to be convenient, fast, reliable and simple to use for everyone, everywhere,” the company said in a press statement.
WhatsApp recently stopped working for some of the older iPhone and Android devices, in order to ensure data security. Anyone who is using Android 2.1 or 2.2, or iOS 6 and lower can no longer use the messaging service on their phones. WhatsApp will also stop working on Windows smartphones running on Windows Phone 7 OS.