INSTANT message service WhatsApp broke its own record on New Year's Eve with over 63 billion texts, of which 7.9 billion contained photos and 2.3 billion had videos attached, according to researchers at ProAndroid.com.
WhatsApp is one of the preferred media in Spain for sending festive greetings, on Christmas Eve night, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day and the Three Kings, or Twelfth Night.
In fact, its use in Spain is huge year-round, as shown by the recent successful campaign for a paella emoji to be added to the catalogue – even though Valencian WhatsApp users complain it looks more like Jamie Oliver's chorizo 'abomination' than any of the numerous authentic rice recipes originating from the eastern region.
Despite its massive global use concentrated into a 12-hour period worldwide, WhatsApp managed to avoid jamming up and grinding to a halt the way it did in the last few minutes of 2015, thanks to its having reconfigured its services.
A year ago, IP addresses of WhatsApp users were all stored in servers located in Virginia, USA, but since Facebook bought out the network, IP-storing servers are now distributed around the globe.
This means if a user in Spain sends a New Year's goodwill message, it does not travel to Virginia first and then return to the recipient's phone across the pond, but is processed by a server in Europe.
WhatsApp's announcement that it will no longer be available for use in models of mobile phones older than five years, or altogether even in newer models for certain makes – has sparked criticism among mobile users who say this is purely a stealthy marketing tactic to make them spend money on new phones.
Warning messages came up throughout 2016 on all BlackBerry phones including the brand-new and very expensive BlackBerry Passport, Nokia S40, Nokia Symbian S60, Windows Phone 7.1, Android 2.1 and Android 2.2, and iPhone 2, saying from December 31, WhatsApp would no longer function.
Most users expecting WhatsApp to shut down on January 1 have found it is still working on their phones, even though they cannot obtain updated versions with additional emojis.
The latest news is that WhatsApp will cease to function from June 30, 2017 on all BlackBerry phones, even the newest, plus Nokia S40 and Nokia Symbian S60.
But owners of these brands of mobile say they receive messages when opening the application telling them it is 'no longer compatible with this phone' and to switch to a newer model, hinting that the service has already stopped – yet they are still able to use WhatsApp, despite the warning.