||A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (November 2011)|
|Developer(s)||Mxit (Pty) Ltd.|
|Stable release||See → Current versions|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows, Windows Mobile, Mac OS X, Android, iOS, Java ME, Linux, BlackBerry OS|
Mxit (pronounced "mix it") is a free instant messaging application developed by Mxit (Pty) Ltd. in South Africa that runs on on over 8000 devices, including feature phones, Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone and tablets.
According to a study by consultancy World Wide Worx, Mxit had 7,4 million monthly active subscribers in July 2013, of which 6,3 million are in South Africa.
Mxit originates from Stellenbosch, a university town in South Africa. In 1997, Herman Heunis established Swist Group Technologies and focused primarily on the mobile telecommunications industry, developing software and providing system support to large Telco's. In 2000 Clockspeed Mobile, a research and development division of Swist Group Technologies, developed a Massive Multiplayer Mobile game named Alaya. The game was SMS based and was not successful due to the high cost of SMS since GPRS was still not widely implemented. In 2003 the game was reassessed and the MXit concept was conceived by Herman that same year, MXit has evolved to become a major IM player in the South African arena thereafter. In April 2004 Clockspeed Mobile became independent and on 1 July 2006 became MXit Lifestyle (Pty) Ltd. In January 2007, media giant Naspers acquired a 30% stake in the company for an undisclosed amount.
In September 2011, Mxit was acquired by South African investment group, World of Avatar.
Following the abrupt resignation of then boss, Alan Knott-Craig Jr, Francios Swart received the nod from Mxit to become the new CEO (Mzekandaba, 2013).
Former CEO of First National Bank (FNB), Michael Jordaan was announced chairman of the Mxit board in September 2013.
Mxit was first released as a mobile phone IM client, Mxit requires Java and internet connectivity via CSD, GPRS, 3G or wifi to run.
Originally built for feature phones, versions have also been released for the BlackBerry, Android, iPhone, Windows Mobile devices and tablets.
In addition to one-on-one and group chat functions, Mxit offers public chat zones as well an apps and games ecosystem.
In 2008 an ex-gangster, a reformed drug dealer and a preacher’s son-in-law came together to use mobile technology to give real-time help to the people of the Cape Flats in Cape Town, South Africa. Mxit Reach is focused around using the innovative technology built by Mxit to create free mobile educational, health care and agricultural and community applications. They aim to build collaborative partnerships that target critical areas in Africa specifically, but also globally (Mxit Reach, 2013).
Mxit Reach is geared for partner participation to:
- Educate in health, agriculture & knowledge sharing.
- Enhance the growth in productivity.
- Align with advocacy programs in support for the MDGs
- Assist with what they already do bigger, better, faster and cheaper.
Pondering Panda is a research company that uses mobile technology to deliver larger samples, faster and more cost-effectively than traditional research suppliers.
Pondering Panda engages with their users on Mxit to conduct research and track relevant trends. With Mxit’s 6.5 million + active users Pondering Panda uses the Mxit social network to benchmark themselves into a highly engaging audience which consists of the young connected community (Pondering Panda, 2013).
MXit is available on a variety of mobile and Computing platforms, each independently developed for the platform. These are:
- BlackBerry OS
- Java ME
- Linux using Pidgin
- Mac OS X using Adium
- Microsoft Windows using Pidgin and MXit EVO
- Windows Mobile
- Windows Phone 7
|Platform||Current version||Release date||Third party|
|Java ME||6.3.0||1 July 2011||No|
|BlackBerry||6.3.0||24 June 2011||No|
|iPhone||1.6||4 March 2011||No|
|Android||6.4.2||10 June 2011||No|
|Windows Mobile||1.4.1||5 November 2010||No|
|Windows Phone 7||126.96.36.199||25 May 2012||No|
|Linux||2.9.0, Pidgin||23 June 2011||Yes, Pidgin only,
|Microsoft Windows||2.9.0, Pidgin
2.0.1, MXit Evo
|23 June 2011
13 December 2010
|Mac OS X||1.0||31 August 2009||Yes, Adium only,
Mxit operates in many international markets. Mxit is officially supported in Malaysia, India, Indonesia, United Kingdom, United States, Nigeria, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. In August 2007 Mxit commissioned their European Data Centre located in Frankfurt, Germany. The purpose of this server farm is to take over most of the international traffic from the South African servers. In September 2010, Mxit launched in Kenya, making it the first country outside of South Africa to have access to the full range of features.
Articles in the 27 July 2006 editions of YOU and Huisgenoot magazines indirectly implied that Mxit enables access to pornography and allows paedophiles to contact minor users, often by pretending to be minors themselves. On 30 July 2006, the M-Net actuality program Carte Blanche broadcast an insert in which a young girl explained how an alleged pedophile contacted her via Mxit. The girl, however, admitted that she violated the Mxit rule not to share personal contact details with other users. The creators of Mxit have since aligned themselves with South African law enforcement to further secure minors' safety when using Mxit.
Numerous news agencies and papers have placed articles in which they quote parents from all over South Africa who claim that Mxit is having an effect on their children's school work. Parents argue that their children fail to communicate properly and find themselves in their own world of mobile chatrooms. This has led to parents starting to confiscate their children's phones.
- "Download Mxit"
- SA Social Media Landscape 2014, World Wide Worx
- " About Mxit"
- MXit Forum • View topic - MXit Lifestyle (Pty) Ltd
- "Naspers acquires a 30% share in MXit". Naspers. 2007-01-26. Archived from the original on 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2007-08-15.
- Atagana, Michelle (22 September 2011). "Exclusive: Alan Knott-Craig buys Mxit, Herman Heunis steps down". memeburn.com. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- "Mxit finally gives Francois Swart the CEO nod"
- "Ex FNB head honcho Michael Jordaan named Mxit chairman"
- "Download Mxit"
- "Download Mxit"
- "Mxit Reach. (2013). Who We Are"
- "Pondering Panda. (2013). About."
- "View forum: Version Support". Mxit Forum. phpBB Group. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
- MXit Forum • View forum - Mxit International
- "MXit Safety Guidelines". MXit.co.za. 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2006-10-19.
- Rondganger, Lee (2006-10-19). "MXit teams up with police to improve security". The Star (Independent Online). Retrieved 2006-10-19.
- "Mxit blamed for exam results"