Mixpanel Trends: What do people do all day?

It’s 10 PM. Do you know where your users are?

(We do.)

We took a look at the data streaming into Mixpanel from across the United States, and decided to break it down by hour and region, focusing on three key areas: California, the Tri-State Area, and the Heartland. What we discovered surprised us — not to mention validated certain coastal stereotypes.

Day in Mobile -- Tri State Area

At 10:00 PM across the country, the majority of people are unwinding with a game (or several): gaming apps far and away send the most data overall at this hour. In California and the Midwest, folks are also firing up their fitness apps — whether this means squeezing in a gym visit, biking home from the bar, or simply walking the dog before bed. People in New York and the Tri-State Area, however, are already cozied up for the night and hanging out on social networks. (We’ll give them a pass this month, Polar Vortex and all, but imagine they’ll catch up by spring, or whenever the ice thaws.)

This makes sense, given what other information we uncovered about the sleeping habits of Americans: while Californians are awake and engaged into the wee hours of the morning — with activity dipping only around 1:30 AM — New Yorkers and their ilk are heading to bed at a much more reasonable hour, sometime between 10 PM and midnight.

Day in Mobile -- California

One of the most fascinating things we saw was the serious jump in mobile activity after lunchtime. Web leads the way during morning work hours, but dips in the afternoon — in fact, web activity drops off at the same time that mobile activity really starts to dominate. From about 1 to 6 PM, all of the action is on mobile. Perhaps not coincidentally, this is also the time when gaming apps start to peak. It also seems that we are bound as a nation by our common love of pre-bedtime online shopping: there’s a spike in e-commerce apps across the country, right in the sweet spot between dinner and our respective regional bedtimes.

Day in Mobile -- Heartland

For those of us who just geek out on this sort of thing (shout out to sociology majors worldwide), the data paints an interesting portrait of three regions of the United States. For developers and marketers, however, insight into when their customers are actively engaging with their products (and, of course, when customers aren’t) is invaluable. This can determine when to send a notification, promote a new feature, or offer incentives to users that will inspire re-engagement. Looking at aggregated data like this also opens up a huge opportunity for outreach and acquisition. Or, at the very least, an opportunity for any enterprising restaurateurs in California willing to stay up late (food truck owners of Northern California, take note: you could make a killing).

If you’re interested in more data from Mixpanel, check out our Trends project: https://mixpanel.com/trends/