Developers get hacking as MXit goes open source in search of a PC client


South African social computing giant, MXit has announced a R100,000 competition for developers and budding computer cowboys. The competition, which runs from 01 April to 01 June, is to source a PC client for the mobile based instant messenger. The developer of the best PC client is set to win R100,000 and will be offered a job with MXit.

“The rationale for the launch of the PC client competition is that innovation comes from the core community of our users. We know there’s great talent out there and we want to enable our user base to create a PC client that works for them,” said Herman Heunis, CEO and founder of MXit. “This underpins our company philosophy of inspiring innovation. The idea is to connect with users by encouraging creativity and we look forward to building a strong relationship with developers,” continues Heunis.

MXit is a free instant messaging program for mobile phones. It allows members to chat to other MXit users anywhere in the world by means of instant messages to and from mobile phones using GPRS or 3G - instead of using standard SMS technology which is expensive. The search for a PC client is the logical next step in MXit’s evolution.

However, the competition has strict criteria. In order for a developer to submit their application and stand a chance to win the cash prize and a job, they will have to register on the development landing page on the MXit website ( The competition runs for two months and will be judged by MXit developers and beta testers. MXit will ultimately own the software and the winning developer will be announced during the month of June.

“Given the strong MXit user base and the versatility of the MXit platform, the right to develop is a ‘no brainer.’ We’re excited to see how our open approach will push new boundaries of instant messaging development and are eager for all enthusiasts to share their creations with the MXit community,” concludes Heunis.