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iOS Developers See Christmas Surge in Downloads and Activity

It's no surprise that Apple's iOS devices are popular holiday gifts, and as one gauge of the popularity of those devices, many turn to information from App Store developers. Business Insider has done just that, checking in with Facebook and Disney-owned Tapulous to discover that both firms have seen significant spikes in user activity coinciding with the holidays.


Facebook, which offers an application formatted for the iPhone and iPod touch but not iPad, has seen a spike of 1.6 million "active" iOS users over the last three days.

Facebook's iPhone app currently has 57.3 million "monthly active users," meaning the number of people who have used the app in the last month. That's up 1.6 million since the morning of Dec. 24, when we checked and it had 55.7 million monthly active users.

Interestingly, Facebook's Android application has seen no specific Christmas spike, despite solid ongoing growth that has seen it approach 21 million users active over the past month. As speculated by Daring Fireball's John Gruber, the difference between the platforms is likely due to the existence of the iPod touch, which as a contract-free device is a more popular holiday gift than smartphones. Evidence of that difference between the iPod touch and iPhone was seen in last year's holiday season.

On a similar note, Tapulous, the firm behind the popular Tap Tap Revenge games and which was acquired by Disney earlier this year, has seen a tremendous increase in app downloads this holiday season compared to last year.

Tapulous tells us that peak Christmas downloads reached 45,000 per hour, and that holiday download traffic is twice the levels of last year.

Tapulous has been riding the momentum of Tap Tap Revenge 4, which debuted in the App Store just before Christmas as a free application with a number of in app purchasing options featuring additional tracks and avatars.