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Mxit to become a full-fledged social platform

Mxit, arguably the largest mobile social network in Africa, is considering altering its business from an instant messaging (IM) platform to a full-fledged social platform. This revelation comes even as it braces itself to face the rising competition from mainstream social media platforms.

Speaking at the Mobile Entertainment Africa 2012 conference held in Cape Town, South Africa  last week, Mxit’s head of product development Peter Matthaei added that Mxit is currently working on improving discoverability through sharing, user recommendations and applying algorithms to social networking, reported Techloy.

A look at the social network’s growth numbers shows an impressive growth despite the growing competition from other mobile messaging services such as BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and WhatsApp Messenger.

Currently, Mxit operates in over 120 countries, with huge interaction and user loyalty exceeding 50 million. Its user base increases by an astonishing 35,000 to 50,000 users per day, and processes 750 million messages daily!

The social network’s site has over 50 million registered users, with 54 percent being male and 46 percent female.

The top five fastest growing countries on the network are South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Indonesia and Swaziland, respectively. In South Africa alone, Mxit has over 10 million users.

It is also the most downloaded application in South Africa’s android app market, with about 100,000 to 500,000 downloads.

Headed by Alan Knott-Craig Jnr, MXit was one of the nine South African companies that were featured in Forbes magazine’s top 20 African start-ups earlier this year.

MXit allows users to send and receive one-on-one text and multimedia messages to and from other users, and in general chat rooms. It also supports gateways to other instant messaging platforms like MSN Messenger, ICQ and Google Talk. MXit does not charge for one-on-one messages though mobile operators may charge for data usage. There are also a number of pay-services, including chatrooms.

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