MXit Up.

As I discuss social media with different folks around South Africa, “Mix it” keeps coming up. “Mix it, mix it, mix it,” I keep hearing.

It’s MXit actually, a South African mobile-based social network with 27 million subscribers (40,000 new subscribers each day). I am one of these new subscribers today, giving it a try. MXing with the locals, you could say.

MXit is an online chat forum that allows for personal chat and group chat on all mobile platforms, as well as on PC’s, Mac’s and the web. Developed by MXit Lifestyle, the forum started in a university town called Stellenbosch to skirt the high cost of sending SMS to play games. MXit is now available and officially supported in countries across the world, including India, the UK, the US, Nigeria, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Malaysia. Kenya was the first country outside of South Africa to have the full MXit experience (beyond chat) in late 2010.

Not unlike most instant messaging services, the functionality includes a contact list (compiled through phone numbers or usernames), file transfers, and indication of moods. Like social networks, users may also have profile photos, share photos taken with their cell phone cameras, have tabbed conversations and format messages.

But though it is available on Mac's and PC's, MXit is based on cell phones, appropriately for the market here.

Other MXit services include:
  • Tradepost
    A spot to search available downloads (music, news, gossip, movies and more), gadgets and current competitions. To purchase, one must use…
  • Moola
    The currency of MXit users, purchased via credit card or SMS service. One Moola= one South African cent.
  • MXit Music Allows users to share their music with the community, expanding the awareness of South African music and musicians. Accessible via Tradepost and the MXit Music website, users can preview, download and vote on tracks, creating a ranking and music chart system.
  • Chat Zones For users aged 14+, the chat rooms are designated by age and moderated by the MXit Magi Team. They also have commands and charge two moola per message.
I look forward to digging in to the experience and seeing how it works. South Africans and users abroad, do you use MXit? I would love to hear your thoughts via Interactive Blogging on the social experience across platforms and how they compare. What is your experience? Do you also use social networks such as Facebook and Twitter (and why/why not)? How do they compare? Check out some initial, real-time opinions at the Twitter #MXit hashtag (click here).

Let’s MXit up.

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