South African social network Mxit has revealed its latest user numbers and the ways people engage with its services. The latest numbers show a decline over last year in active users, from 6,5m to 4,9m.
Despite the decline, it appears those still using it are finding it increasingly sticky. Average daily time per user on the platform has increased from 95 minutes last year to 105 minutes now. Its chat functionality remains the biggest drawcard.
CEO Francois Swart says that 7,4m people have installed the latest Mxit software, version 7, following its release late last year. About 55% are still active on the platform, while there has been a “notable increase” in the share of smart devices accessing the service.
Swart says that on average, Mxit users spend about 700 minutes a week using the software. “We are still unrivalled in terms of our ability to provide a smart experience for feature phone users. In the past year, we have sharpened our focus on smart applications, while maintaining interoperability on more than 8 000 devices.”
Today, smartphone users make up about 15% of Mxit’s base.
The user base falls mainly in the living standards measures 6-8 categories, with the average user spending R120/month on airtime. Fifty-seven percent of its users are male and 65% are between 18 and 35.
Swart says that almost 70% of users engage with apps designed by third-party brands, while more than 60% access news and sport content on a daily basis. “This is because of Mxit’s data efficiency,” says Swart. “We also want people to consume the Web within the app, and being data-efficient is critical here.”
Mxit ventured into music last year with the launch of Mxit Music Studio. To date, it’s signed up 419 000 subscribers, with over 19 000 downloads of South Africa’s top nine local artists.
The Stellenbosch-based social media company has also made a number of strategic moves in the past year, the most notable of which was opening a satellite operation in India.
However, Swart is reluctant to provide details on the uptake of Mxit in India. “We have seen a lot of registrations, but we are not going to provide numbers just yet. It’s still early days and we have lots of learnings from the launch.”
Mxit will soon be available in 22 languages, including Hausa, Swahili, African French, Arabic and several Indian languages.
The average amount of data per user per month is 4,5MB. Cell C provides its users with unmetered access to Mxit. This has led to 30% of Mxit users using Cell C as their operator of choice, says Swart. “Mxit users get free data access to Mxit on Cell C’s network as long as the user an active balance.” — © 2014 NewsCentral Media