Are you the generous sort or something of a festive Scrooge? Find out how the UK shares, and how to do it better with your phone.

Is Christmas really a time for giving? Or do you secretly prefer being on the receiving end when it comes to presents? You’re not alone. Our colleagues in the enterprise team have just released some YouGov research to support Vodafone Data Sharer, which allows businesses to share mobile internet amongst employees and devices, revealing some of the oddities in our sharing habits Great Britain. Intrigued? Read on for the full story…

Our fresh batch of stats is all about the things we do and don’t like sharing at work. While some of us probably have the odd skinflint colleague tipping the scales, the research has given us a nice little snapshot of workplace sharing across the board.

So what gets shared between co-workers? Treats. Lots and lots of treats, with 46 per cent of workers surveyed sharing them with colleagues. At this time of year the belt buckles loosen, with chocolates (62 per cent) and mince pies (39 per cent) reportedly being our communal snacks of choice  for those that are more likely to share with colleagues during the festive season. When it comes to sharing things electronically with colleagues top on the sharing chart comes work related news or events (32 per cent) and funny jokes, pictures or videos (25 per cent).

“It seems as though our eagerness to share dwindles when there’s the looming chance of catching a winter cold.”

At the other end of the spectrum, it seems as though our eagerness to share dwindles when there’s the looming chance of catching a winter cold. On (presumably) the grounds of hygiene, 30 per cent of people said their favourite mug is one of three things they’d least like to share, and 21 per cent wouldn’t happily offer up their headphones.


Those last numbers may not be all that surprising, but it’s not the stats themselves that have us intrigued – it’s the things we share. Outside of the workplace, we probably share more photos than we do chocolates, and send more Tweets than we do flowers. But is there a compromise? Are there any sharing services that blur the lines between the digital and the physical?

That’s what we wanted to find out. As such, we’ve been taking a look at some of the apps and services you can use to share with their friends and family this Christmas:


1. Printstagram

Instagram’s great because it pushes us to take more photos of the interesting things in life than we might otherwise. But there’s a problem: it’s easy to let all those memories languish in the depths of your account. Prinstagram pulls them out into the real world, letting you print sets of your shots as individual polaroids, calendars or montage posters. Link: Printstagram


2. Pair

There are plenty of free web-based messaging apps, but Pair is different because it only wants to connect you to that one important person in your life. The app offers couples all the normal instant messaging features, but there’s plenty more than that locked inside. You can draw each other pictures, share your location, send photos and voice messages and create a joint task list.

The best bit, though, is the ‘thumb kiss’ feature. Put your opposable digit on the screen and its print will appear on your partner’s screen. When they put their thumb on top of yours, both phones will vibrate to signify a little digital kiss. D’aww.
Link: Pair Android | Pair iOS


3. BBM 7

BBM, the pretty amazing free messaging service for BlackBerry phones, has just gained a new power: as long as you’re connected to WiFi, BBM7 will let you make voice calls to other BlackBerrys for free. Perfect for sharing your stories with people you’re away from over Christmas. BBM 7 is coming to all BlackBerry devices running BlackBerry OS 6 or later.

That added bonus is manufacturer RIM’s way of saying thank you to its loyal BB brigade. After more reasons to love team BlackBerry? How about our new Pay as you go BlackBerry Freebee? It gives you free internet and rewards when you top up £10 a month. Bonus. Find out more about that here.
Link: BBM 7 for BlackBerry devices


4. Samsung S Beam

Sharing digital bits and bobs like photos and videos can always be done over email, but that’s not very much fun. Luckily, Samsung’s looked to stuff a bit of physical feedback back into the act of sharing. Enter S Beam – it takes the NFC (Near Field Communication) tricks embedded in Android Jelly Bean and dials them up to eleven.

Simply find the video, picture, song or file you want to send, hold your phone back-to-back with another (at the moment, only the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 are compatible), and it’ll fly through the ether into your friend’s, landing with a satisfying vibrate.
Link: Samsung S Beam


5. Touchnote Cards

Have a quick look at your phone’s photo library. Go on; do it now. If you’re anything like us, more than one of the ones you’ve taken over the last few weeks or trees, Christmas markets and the like would make a cracking Christmas card. If that’s the case, Touchnote is here to help.

The Touchnote Android or iOS app is a blindingly simple tool for choosing, editing and adding text to your photo, before firing it off as a real life card that’ll drop through their letterbox. It’s the perfect example of turning the digital into the physical, just in time for Christmas.
Link: Touchnote Android | Touchnote iOS


6. Facebook Gifts (US only at the moment)

Now that your friends are always reachable on Facebook, Twitter, by phone, text, email and IM, there’s less of a need to memorise their home address. But not knowing where they live doesn’t mean you can’t send presents easily. Facebook Gifts is a brand new service that’s coming to the UK soon that’ll let you choose, buy and send your loved ones real life pressies without even the foggiest clue of where they actually live, all from your phone.

Click send, and your recipient will get a notification saying that you’re playing santa, and prompting them to fill out their address (don’t worry, it’s all secure). Bosh! Your gifts – toys, chocolates, mugs, drinks or ornaments – will wing their way to your pal’s front door.
Link: Facebook Gifts


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2037 adults, of which 1153 were working adults with one or more colleagues. Fieldwork was undertaken between 30th November – 3rd December 2012.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).