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Mxit

  • Mxit Music (officially) launches, beats iTunes pricing

    It's been a while since we've heard from the African social network, but Mxit finally broke the silence with the announcement of Mxit Music, its digital music download service. If it sounds familiar, it's because it went live in April earlier this year, but promptly entered stealth mode while it ironed out a few kinks. Mxit users can snap up the latest hits for around R8.50, R7.00 and R4.00 (850 Moola, 700 Moola and 400 Moola) per track. Mondia Media, the music catalogue provider that manages things like permissions, DRM and royalty payments for the tracks, says that it covers...

  • LoveLife offering mobile text-based counselling via Mxit

    How do you get in touch with your audience? Find out where they are. That's what LoveLife is doing. The organisation, which claims to be South Africa's largest national HIV prevention initiative, is expanding its offering to include text-based counselling to the country's youth on mobile social network, Mxit. "This is part of LoveLife's strategy to expand access points and channels of support," said a statement from LoveLife. The app, which went live on Mxit two weeks ago already has 97 000 subscribers, of which more than 5 000 engaged with counsellors in the first 10 days. "We are...

  • MyANC launches new Mxit app for ‘better citizen engagement’

    Nudging in the direction of e-governance, the South African ruling party is trying to further expand its crucial social media reach. The African National Congress is launching a new application on the popular mobile chat platform Mxit. Through this initiative, the ANC Western Cape community (MyANCWC) will attempt to educate and mobilize South African voters. By using modern ways of market engagement, South Africa's majority party is planning to strengthen its online presence. As ANC Chair Marius Fransman announced, this app will aim to give people "an exciting opportunity to engage directly with the ANC in the Western Cape."...

  • Mxit launches latest J2ME app, includes improved images, profile building

    African mobile social networking giant Mxit has launched the latest version of it J2ME app, which it says draws heavily, when it comes to looks at least, from its Android and BlackBerry 10 apps. In an official blog post, Mxit says that the updated app comes with a number of new features, including an improved user experience, in line with the Android app and improved profile building with the inclusion of a user’s relationship status. The most significant changes however appear to be in imaging. People with feature phones will now apparently be able to send and receive large...

  • Mxit claims social network world first with ‘A Lucky Man’ premiere

    This is very cool. Africa's largest mobile social network Mxit is getting its own full-length feature film. The film, called A Lucky Man, tells the story of Ernie ‘Lastig’ Solomon, a legendary ex-gang boss, from the Cape Flats, an expansive, low-lying, flat area situated to the southeast of the central business district of Cape Town. Written and directed by Gordon Clarke, A Lucky Man follows Solomon on his search for identity and belonging in a society smothered by crime, violence and abuse. Mxit users can download the movie, which it claims is the first full-length feature film to premiere...

  • Tencent’s WeChat looking to enter South African market with a bang

    This is potentially very big. Chinese internet giant Tencent is looking to take its massively successful instant messaging service WeChat to South Africa, where it will take on the likes of Mxit, Africa's largest mobile social network. WeChat has seen phenomenal growth in recent times. Last week, Tencent revealed that the company has passed the 300-million user mark, with the last 100-million having joined in the past three months. Much of that growth has been outside of China, with the service finding particular favour in other Asian markets. Now though, it looks like Tencent has its eyes set further...

  • Leaner Mxit plans to ‘double’ user base in next year amid staff retrenchments

    Amid news that mobile social network was laying off nearly a third of its staff, Mxit has revealed that it plans to double its user base in the next year. Late last week employees from the mobile social network revealed that they had been offered retrenchment packages in what was apparently a cost-cutting exercise by the company. The company today confirmed that some 41 of its staff members had accepted voluntary retrenchments. Mxit’s acting-CEO, Francois Swart says however that the cut-backs were part of an attempt to focus on growing the social network's user base: We have...

  • Mxit Launch: social integration finally hits the platform

    It's about time. It seems Mxit has finally wised up to the rest of the world and has announced a social monitoring tool dubbed Mxit Launch. The new product allows brands and communities to get on to the platform. In essence, it will give social media and community managers a chance to include Mxit in their overall strategy. "This tool set is perfect for brands and community owners wanting to easily and quickly build a presence on Mxit,” says Vincent Maher, VP product strategy and growth at Mxit. According to the company, the browser-based product, which is free, enables community...

  • New Mxit app brings Google Maps to feature phones

    Well... here's one way to get Google Maps on your iPhone. The innovation arm of digital agency Native has released a navigation app built using the Maps API that allows any one of Mxit's millions of users to access Google's mapping service with minimal data charges. The directions app, called GetThere, works on feature phones and smartphones alike, and is available for free from Tradepost. Despite the largely text-based nature of Mxit, the app is surprisingly quick to use -- you simply enter in a starting address and destination, pick walking or driving directions, and GetThere plans your route...

  • The Mxit mix-up: the rise and fall of Alan Knott-Craig Jnr

    The Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter at Mxit's Wonderland By Michelle Atagana and Matthew Buckland Just over a year ago, on a rainy August morning, Alan Knott-Craig Jnr took a long walk along a river bank in Stellenbosch with Herman Heunis, the founder of Mxit, Africa's largest mobile social network. They were sharing an umbrella and engaging in small talk. Towards the end of the walk, Knott-Craig broke the news to Heunis that he had been unable to raise enough money through his venture capital firm, World of Avatar, to buy Mxit. He felt he'd lost his chance when...

  • What Alan Knott-Craig’s departure means for brand Mxit: An insider’s view

    Until three weeks ago Frans De Villiers worked at Mxit as a special marketing project manager. He explains what life under Alan Knott-Craig Junior was like and how his departure could affect Mxit as a brand. Alan Knott-Craig Junior was Mxit’s Barack Obama. He rocked up at the scene at a time when the brand was certainly on the down. By no means am I implying that former CEO Herman Heunis was George W Bush, I regard him as a visionary tech leader who built an amazing company, but let's be honest: the company had lost a lot of...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Jnr steps down as CEO of Mxit

    Investor Alan Knott-Craig Jnr has stepped down as CEO of Africa’s largest mobile social network, Mxit. The company, which has just received a R100 million investment by shareholders, announced the move today. Mxit, which was acquired by Knott-Craig Jnr late last year, is available in 128 countries. It is represented in international markets that include Malaysia, Kenya, India, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, United States, Nigeria, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain, where users have access to Mxit’s chat function. "While the shareholders and I share the same vision, we differ on how to get there. Therefore, I agreed to go...

  • Attention app developers: the Mxit User API is here

    Developers, Mxit lovers, we have good news for you. With the release of Mxit's new User API, you are now able to develop social apps for the Mxit platform. What type of apps can you build? Any app that benefits from the Mxit community's user profile data, social graph, pictures and video. Just like Facebook though, Mxit users have the ability to control whenever their non-public personal information is shared with an app. The Mxit API is grouped into three categories. First, the aptly named "Profile" category allows developers to pull out profile information as well as do things like retrieve...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Jr on birthing World of Avatar, sealing the Mxit deal

    In the third and final extract from his book "Mobinomics", South African entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Jr details how he took World of Avatar from concept to company. As was the case with some of his previous ventures, there were speedbumps along the way. At one point Knott-Craig had less than R2 000 to his name and kept the business afloat with emergency loans. Slowly though, things began to turn around, until he was ready to make another play for Mxit: Africa's largest social network. Things began to move at the speed of lightning. Pete’s development team moved to Stellenbosch, bringing...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Jr on missing his first shot at Mxit, founding World of Avatar

    In the second in a series of extracts from his book "Mobinomics", South African entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Jr reflects on the first encounter he had with Mxit founder Herman Heunis. At that stage the company was worth a lot less than Knott-Craig would eventually end up paying for it. He also describes the bits of luck, opportunities, cups of coffee, and marital difficulties that put him on the path to leaving wireless broadband company iBurst and starting World of Avatar -- the group of startups that would come to include Mxit in its list of properties. ...