3..2..1..Happy New Year! While we are used to exclaiming these words at parties, nightclubs, and in the presence of our friends and family, it’s likely that a lot of us will be counting down from our living rooms this year as we welcome in 2021 (and say goodbye to 2020!) from the comfort, and safety, of our homes.
With so many of us staying in this year, it is expected that data consumption will reach record heights on New Year’s Eve as people stay home, attend virtual celebrations, and send end-of-year wishes to their loved ones.
Of course, a surge in data traffic is to be expected in the final minutes of the year. In fact, messaging service, WhatsApp, reported that more than 100 billion messages were sent on its platform on New Year’s Eve in 2019 – this is equivalent to every person on the planet sending 13 messages each! Of these 100 billion messages, more than 12 billion were images, further increasing data consumption. This number is set to rise once more this year as we turn to messaging platforms and social media to convey our New Year’s wishes.
But it’s not just messaging, video calls will also be keeping data centers busy as we approach midnight. 2020 has already seen a huge rise in data consumption related to video calling and video conferencing with both Zoom and Microsoft Teams reporting increases in active users of 2900% and 53%, respectively. This trend is set to continue for the remaining few days of the year, peaking on New Year’s Eve as our annual end-of-year parties go virtual and we forgo the customary midnight hug (or smooch!) in favor of a video call.
While staying in and watching a movie or TV show on New Year’s Eve may not have been everyone’s idea of an exciting way to see in the New Year, it is likely that it’s what a lot of us will be doing come December 31st. The market for video streaming services has seen a 37% growth in 2020 with Netflix adding 26 million paid new subscribers in the first two quarters of the year alone. From watching our favorite movies and shows to watching live streams of celebrations or events, data consumption related to video streaming is sure to end the year on a high.
Adobe Analytics predicted that total online sales this November and December will grow 33% year over year and whilst shopping is more commonly associated with Christmas, online transactions are also likely to be higher this New Year’s Eve as people use food delivery services to order their final meal of 2020 where they would have usually dined at a restaurant with friends and family. Pizza, Thai, or Indian – whatever your cuisine of choice, every order will contribute to an increase in online transactions and further demand for data center networks.
Party poppers at the ready, this surge in data consumption is set to ensure that 2020 goes out with a bang! And with that, we’re signing off for 2020! Happy New Year from all of us at AFL Hyperscale and we look forward to working with you in 2021.