I’ll confess that I only came to know about MXit just a few weeks ago. I should have known it earlier, like a few years back maybe. In this age of Facebook, the influence MXit has on social interaction in South Africa is nothing short of a phenomenon. According to the MXit entry on Wikipedia, the network is 27 million members strong and signing up some 40,000 subscribers every day. Now that’s something.
MXit is a mobile phone based instant messaging application built by Namibian born South African, Herman Heunis. The application transmits messages through mobile data services like 3G and GPRS.
MXit is more than just instant messaging though; it has chat rooms, mobile advertising, and even has its own ‘economy’. The economy is based on a MXit virtual currency called Moola and subscribers use this to purchase games, music, wallpapers, skins and other stuff.
It’s not clear how many people use MXit in Zimbabwe, and I would imagine not that many. The reason ofcourse is that Zimbabweans are only starting to have meaningful mobile phone internet now. So it’s not too difficult to predict a rise in subscriber numbers coming out of Zim, especially from the youth.
If you have the time, there’s a 39 minute video here on Net Prophet. The video is a presentation by the founder. It has great detail about MXit’s growing pains and the challenges the company has faced as a startup in Africa.
Are you using MXit? Let us know in the comments.