Mxit has reinvented its look and its functionality and in the process, found that over 1.1-million users downloaded the new-look version in the first week. Africa’s largest instant messenger and mobile social network also discovered that daily registrations of new users increased by 25% to 60 000 new registrations per day.
“People that don’t use Mxit still think of it as an instant messaging platform, and although we will always retain that feature because of its enormous value to our users, we are proud to say that the evolution of MXit over the last five or so years has culminated in it becoming a serious player in the global social networking space,” says Juan du Toit, head of international business development and marketing for Mxit.
The company’s innovation team started working on the changes 18 months ago and has brought an additional layer to the spectrum of features that over 37 million users currently enjoy. This includes a completely new look, search functionality that allows users to find and manage contacts, services and applications within Mxit and a ‘friends’ navigation feature that allows a user to see more detailed information about their contacts.
As with all its prior versions, safety is central to the reinvented Mxit. The company has included a number of new security measures, including allowing users to manage their privacy settings by enabling or disabling their profiles in public searches.
Mxit, which has over 39 million registered users in 120 countries, has more than tripled its community of users in the last two years and believes that the reinvented version, called MXit V6, will appeal to both its loyal South African market and to a global base of users.
In South Africa, Mxit is significantly bigger than Facebook and Twitter combined. Well over 47% of Mxit users are between the ages of 19 and 26.
Mxit V6 has also been designed to extend the capability and ease-of-use for external programmers who develop products and services for the Mxit community, and delivers to users a social framework that will position Mxit at the head of the next wave of innovation in the global social networking market.
Every day, around 700 million messages are sent and received on Mxit – this is 3.9 times more messages than the total amount of Tweets sent around the world per day.
Features that make it a fully-integrated mobile social network
Besides popular one-to-one and group chat features, Mxit’s suite of services and applications include:
· Email facilities that allow users to create and use email from their mobile phones.
· Entertainment features such as interactive games, music and mobile phone application downloads, sport, news and weather updates and competitions and questionnaires.
· A classified section, called Mxit Xchange, which is used by over 18.5 million MXit users. The inventory is refreshed every 7 days to keep content relevant and fresh.
· The platform also features Mxit Cares, which offers users free real-time advice and counseling on anything from drug and substance abuse to counseling users on HIV/Aids, debt counseling, career guidance and so forth. It works with agencies like Childline, Cell-Life and RLabs to bring professional counseling to its users.
· On the educational front, Mxit Cares has teamed up a number of professional educators to provide a host of online tutorials, quizzes and information that help national learners navigate subjects like Maths, Physical Science and Life Sciences.
· Mxit V6 allows users to search for friends using their name, email or telephone number.
· It also allows users to find friends by uploading their telephone book contacts.