WhatsApp sets New Year’s Eve call record – but when is it coming to the UAE?
January 4, 2021

Voice and video calls on WhatsApp are still banned in the UAE.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp is now one of the most widely-used messaging platforms in the world. The cross-platform messaging service allows you to send messages initially but has now expanded to offer voice and video calls as well.

Just last weekend during New Year’s Eve, more than 1.4 billion WhatsApp video and voice calls were placed – a record that was achieved in just a single day. WhatsApp said that New Year’s Eve is normally a busy night, but with most everyone staying home there was a 50 percent increase in usage compared to last year.

“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, said in a blog post

Additionally, Facebook said that there were 55 million live broadcasts made through Facebook and Instagram worldwide during New Year’s weekend.

We can’t help but feel left out from all these milestones since at the moment VOIP calls are still banned in the UAE including WhatsApp voice and video calls. While we’ve heard rumors about it being unblocked in the country, it is the one feature most of us are requesting at a time when not everyone is able to meet friends and family face-to-face.

by Victor Philip Ortiz
Tech Enthusiast and Movie Buff. When he’s not busy playing with the latest games, Victor usually spends his time collecting Blu-rays and building his own movie library. As the Online Editor for T3 Middle East, he develops and writes content for www.T3ME.com which includes reviews, features, and videos in addition to managing its social media and web content.
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