Users of home-grown mobile messaging platform Mxit remain highly loyal to the platform, despite the fact that the service was recently supplanted by Facebook as the country’s biggest social network, according to what World Wide Worx and Fuseware are calling a “final analysis” of their “SA Social Media Landscape 2014” research study.
“Headline findings issued last month showed that the Mxit user base had fallen significantly in the past year. However, when taking into account a change in the way the service measures active users – from being active on the network over 90 days to being on in the last 30 days – Mxit appears have turned a corner,” the researchers say in a statement.
“In July 2012, a 30-day active measure gave Mxit 6,2m subscribers. A year later, in July 2013, the active subscriber base had grown marginally to 6,3m. In August, this number had grown to 6,5m,” the says. “This means that, despite a high churn rate among prepaid cellphone users, which comprise most of Mxit’s base, the network is winning back enough users and attracting enough new customers every month to make up for that churn.”
It also suggests that a high proportion of those who change their prepaid phone numbers return to register on Mxit again.
“This finding provides fascinating insight into the willingness of outgoing First National Bank CEO Michael Jordaan to take on the role of chairman of Mxit,” says World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck. “Rather than coming in to rescue a dwindling brand, he has arrived to build on a relatively solid foundation.”
The report describes the decision by new Mxit CEO Francois Swart to clean up how Mxit reported its numbers as a turning point for the network. “However, this does not mean its survival is guaranteed,” the researchers say.
“Mxit is holding its own, but at a time when Facebook has grown by more than half and Twitter has more than doubled,” says Fuseware MD Mike Wronski. “That is enough of a challenge, but then you also have local instant messaging service 2Go overtaking Mxit in active users across Africa, and WhatsApp in turn overtaking everyone, including Facebook.”
Mxit currently has 7,4m active users across Africa, while 2Go has 10,5m, the researchers say. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media