Our Christmas Day tech habits, according to the data

Mobile and Web analytics company Mixpanel has shared details of the data it collected on Christmas Day, revealing how we all spent our time on December 25. Raking in 1.2 billion mobile “actions” (a 66 percent increase on last year), the company was able to shed some light on when families got down to opening presents, and to what extent quality time with the relatives was interrupted by the lure of new mobiles and tablets.

90 percent of activity was generated on mobile apps as opposed to desktop computers, so while the laptop might have remained closed, the phones and tablets obviously weren’t powered down. There was a dip in data traffic around 10.30am across all time zones — presumably the time when most families were opening up presents — and then a spike at the start of the afternoon as we all switched back to checking our devices.

Interestingly, only 11 percent of traffic was generated by social networks, compared with 58 percent from gaming apps. It would seem that ploughing through a few levels of the latest mobile game proved more popular than sharing festive greetings on Twitter or Facebook (though Mixpanel does have a higher-than-normal number of gamers on its books).

Tablets are on the rise too: 25 percent of all data came from Android slabs and iPads, up from 15 percent at Thanksgiving. As you might expect, Apple dominated the tablet scene again, with 79 percent of tablets in use being iPads. The top five cities for sending the most data on Christmas Day were (in order) Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Brooklyn and New York. San Francisco didn’t even make the top ten, so presumably the tech elite of the Bay Area were home for the holidays.

“All told, Christmas 2013 was a mobile, iOS-dominated holiday, with more people relying on their tablets to play, share, document, and work,” concludes the Mixpanel blog post.

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