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Mxit

  • Mxit: the rise and collapse of ‘Africa’s largest social network’

    Flashback to 2010. Naspers is still a majority shareholder in Mxit, at this stage Africa's largest social network and instant messaging client with 27-million registered users. It is the darling of the South African technology space, proof that a digital African company can play on the international stage. Perhaps even more importantly, it is an inspiration to any number of mobile startups in South Africa and Africa as a whole. Five years later, it's changed ownership, undergone wide-scale retrenchments, and its user numbers are believed to have fallen even lower than it's willing to admit. So where did it all...

  • Sources: fresh retrenchments at Mxit

    African mobile social network Mxit has begun a fresh round of retrenchments as it looks to find its place in a mobile messaging space dominated by US and Asian players. A source close to the company confirmed to Memeburn that the Stellenbosch-based company today began negotiations with staff around its downsizing efforts. This is the second wave of retrenchments at the company in the last couple of years. In late 2012, following the departure of maverick entrepreneur Alan-Knott Craig Jr, the company laid off nearly a third of its staff. At the same time however, it said that...

  • Oju launches on Mxit, lets you say ‘I love you’ in an African way

    Oju, Africa’s first black emoticons, have launched on mobile instant messaging platform Mxit. The news comes just a couple of months after its introduction to the world. Its partnership with Mxit is not in isolation and follows on the heels of its June nomination by License Global in the "One to Watch" contest for new creative concepts at the Licencing Expo 2014 in Las Vegas. Nothing adds emphasis on a text like an emoticon. Insert an emoticon and the text, made up of the same words, assumes a different tone, even a different agenda. Even when a text...

  • Can features like Chat Cards and Newsfeed make Mxit cool again?

    Not so long ago, Mxit appeared to be caught in something of a malaise. Alan Knott Craig Jr, the man who promised to change the company from the ground up had parted ways with it, the board appeared reluctant to appoint a new CEO and its product was stuck in pretty much the same place it had been in for years. No one can accuse it of that now. In the space of a few months and under new CEO Francois Swart, it has launched brand new smartphone and feature phone versions, launched in India and rolled out a host...

  • Mxit’s plan to rock India? Focus on feature phones and social change

    More and more people in developing nations are turning to mobile messaging apps instead of SMS. As they do so, they’ll find that there’s a huge variety of social messaging apps to choose from. WhatsApp goes for cool simplicity; Line and WeChat try to throw as many features at people as possible; Viber and Nimbuzz have the option of phone-calls. There’s something for everyone. The African messaging app Mxit is trying another angle – placing an emphasis on feature phone users, group gatherings, and discussing social change. Mxit already has over 10-million registered users across Africa. To be as accessible as...

  • Mxit officially launches in India, sets sights on massive feature phone base

    Plans from Mxit, the South African based mobile social network, to expand into India have hardly been a well-kept secret, but it's still a pretty interesting move and now it's official. Mxit today officially launched its India operation, headed up by Sam Rufus Nallaraj (a former contestant on The Apprentice Asia and Vice President at Deloitte & Touché in Hyderabad) with former South African cricketer and Indian coach Gary Kirsten as the face of its marketing campaign. While India's smartphone market is burgeoning, it looks like Mxit is aiming its sights squarely at the country's massive feature phone user...

  • Mxit’s India foray: what we know so far [update]

    It's hardly unfair to say that Mxit was in stuck in stasis for a little while. Between Alan Knott Craig Jr leaving and the launch of Mxit 7, the company just seemed to kind of exist. Now though, it looks like the company's determined not to let the cobwebs settle again as it prepares for a full-frontal assault on the Asian markets, starting with India. While Mxit has always been supported in India, its user numbers are limited. Of the 7.4-million or so monthly active users it lays claim to 84% are in South Africa, with most of the...

  • Mxit reboots with #mxit7… Now what?

    Mxit 7 on iOS is gorgeous. Its reimagined J2ME client is perhaps even more impressive. But, as we’ve seen over and over again, a gorgeous product does not a successful product make... First, a disclosure: I know a fair number of people at Mxit. I've known CMO Vincent Maher for almost a decade. New rockstar chairman Michael Jordaan. Product manager Peter Matthaei. Brad Whittington. And a few ex-Mxit staffers, like Sarah Rice. I haven't spoken to any of them about this piece. Nor have I spoken to them about what's gone on behind the scenes over the past year....

  • Mxit 7 is here: fresh feature phone app, smartphone version to come

    The new version of Mxit is here. Okay, it isn't really a surprise, given that we were able to give you preview of it late last week. What is interesting is that the mobile social network seems to be doing as much as possible to dismiss any notions that it might have forgotten the feature phone customers who make up the core of its user base. The decision to release Mxit 7 for feature phones today, for instance, can't be accidental. Especially given that it will be followed later in the week by versions for iPhone and iPad....

  • Here’s what the new version of Mxit will look like

    If you've been thinking that Mxit's been quiet on the product front for the last little while, we may know why that was the case. The mobile social network's been cooking up its latest revamp, Mxit 7, and we've been given a glimpse of what it will look like. Mxit 7 is set to go live in four days time, featuring a complete redesign as well as a new logo that's more in line with the new look. Memeburn received a few images showcasing what the new iPhone and J2Me versions of the service will look like. Android, BlackBerry...

  • Mxit users might be outnumbered by FB counterparts, but are still fiercely loyal

    Mxit may not be the mobile social networking powerhouse it once was, but its users are still fiercely loyal. That's according to analysis of the SA Social Media Landscape 2014 research study, released by World Wide Worx and Fuseware. When the two companies released the results of their research in September, they showed that Facebook, with 9.4-million active users, had overtaken Mxit to become the country's most popular social network. In presenting the results, World Wide Worx and Fuseware said that Mxit's 7.4-million active users (84% of whom are from South Africa) was down from the 9.3-million active users...

  • Ex FNB head honcho Michael Jordaan named Mxit chairman

    This is big. Former FNB CEO Micheal Jordaan has been appointed chairman of mobile social network Mxit. Jordaan, who retired from FNB after a decade in the top job, has close ties to some of the company's largest shareholders, having served as Rand Merchant Bank co-founder Paul Harris' personal assistant in the mid 1990s. “Having a business heavyweight of Jordaan’s calibre on the board of directors is no doubt a sign of great things to come from Mxit,” said Harris. In Jordaan's time as FNB CEO, the bank introduced a number of innovations -- it was the first in South Africa to...

  • Need to recruit top talent? The case for Mxit

    Mobile recruitment is taking off worldwide with Google reporting that one in five searches, including searching for jobs, are now done on a mobile device. In countries like South Africa, where about 80% of the population (or 40-million) people now own a handset, cellphones have always been a powerful marketing channel. With mobile access to the internet growing, targeting talent on the go will become essential in the recruitment strategy. According to the World Wide Worx: Mobility 2012 report, about 59% (or 29.5-million) South Africans now have access to the internet in some way. Of these, 27% (or...

  • Rape Crisis launches Mxit portal to provide information, access to justice

    This could be important. Rape Crisis, an NGO that aims to empower rape survivors and support them in finding justice, has launched a Mxit portal, which it hopes will improve the accessibility of information about rape to women, particularly in poorer and rural communities. The app, called RapeCrisis, is currently available in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa. According to the NGO, it "distills 37 years of experience working with rape survivors into a simple yet comprehensive information package". Among the services offered by the app is information on the possible steps survivors can take when it comes to disclosure, reporting to...

  • Mxit: now with live South African soccer games

    This is pretty cool. Anyone using the mobile social network Mxit can now get real-time information on games from South Africa's Premier Soccer League (PSL) as they are being played, on their mobile phones. The new feature, which comes courtesy of a partnership with global sports match analysis company Amisco Group, apparently allows South African fans to "access live, detailed and accurate performance information on all PSL games as they are being played on their mobile phones". In addition, Mxit will have pre-game and post-game data and statistics on teams and players on each of the official club apps. All 16...