Mxit messaging app arrives in India : Can it trouble WhatsApp ?


The well-liked South African mobile messaging app Mxit has launched in India today. Mxit (pronounced as ‘Mix it’) has apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, as well as Nokia and Java-based feature smart phones. It’s aimed at being very inclusive and so the app runs on more than 8,000 different mobile phones.

Mxit is obtain for download on not just smartphone Operating System such as Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry, but is also accessible on Java and Symbian platforms. The company says that over 8,000 different feature mobile phones, smartphones and tablets can run the application. Its USP is the fact that it can work on basic-data enabled feature phones too and can run on even plain-old 2G connections.

The South African messaging app Mxit is moving into the booming Indian market, with the hope of grabbing some share from WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat.

Mxit has roped in cricketer and former team India coach Gary Kirsten as brand ambassador to attract users in India.

The Mxit app gives users access to smart features on their dumb phones and aims to blur the line between the two. It aims to work well on just a 2G connection. Mixt lets users type 300-character SMS messages, compared to the industry norm of 140 characters.

WhatsApp is the most well-liked app in India with over 30 million users in that country alone. Mxit is much smaller, boasting 6.4 million users in its native South Africa and around a million elsewhere.



Mxit apps comes in India with support for English and Hindi, and it is working to add 10 more Indian languages within six months to reach out to as much of the populace as possible. These 10 languages are Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi, Assamese, and Oriya

WeChat is possibly a better point of comparison for Mxit than WhatsApp, however, as both Mxit and WeChat act as platforms for other apps (the same can arguably be said for Facebook Messenger, currently number 2 in the Indian market, if you view it as an entry point to the wider Facebook). All effectively act as social a network, which — along with their effect on traditional SMS revenues — makes their development very interesting to watch.

Mxit India chairman Roger Grobler says that 46 percent of mobile internet users in South Africa are active on Mxit every month. He adds, “One reason for this is that Mxit is rivaled only by Facebook in terms of the number of makes and models of mobile phones it operates on.”

The Mxit app was first launched in 2005 and today has over 10 million registered users in South Africa.
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