MXit, the South African high-tech success story, has reached a major milestone 4,8-million registered users, with 200 000 new users set to register shortly.
This startup company has grown from a small handful of entrepreneurs to become a noted international player in low-cost, mobile phoned-based instant messaging technology since its commercial launch in May 2005. MXit has learned steadily, improving its technology to maintain a user-friendly environment, as well as making it safer for younger users.
“We are very pleased with our current growth as this is a significant number to us, making us one of the largest mobile IM based systems in the world," says CEO and founder of MXit, Herman Heunis.
MXit currently adds more than 1 000 new international users on a daily basis and this is set to spike with the release of MXit’s new 5.2 version, scheduled to launch later this month.
This version will include exciting new features such as extra language options i.e Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and German, with additional languages to be included in the near future. This new version will go out first to the Freestyler community and then into the world two weeks later.
Freestylers are MXit’s most loyal users and for a monthly subscription of R2.50 Freestylers are able to save, send and receive messages, greeting cards and pictures, excluding the GPRS data tariff, free of charge.
Another key feature of this new version is the addition of compressed sound clips that accompany messages and pictures, at almost no extra charge over and above data charges.
“Obviously the mobile phone in use must support these features, and we anticipate that the community will switch over and use this feature to replace voice mail and quite probably implement it as a quasi push-to-talk,” said Heunis.
“One of the most notable differences between MXit’s V5.1 and the new V5.2 is the implementation of AE128 encryption technology, allowing cutting-edge encryption of messages. This is set to create a secure and excellent foundation for financial transactions, and MXit will make an announcement on these features within the next few weeks.
"Another integral part of the growth process has seen the strengthening of our relationship with Naspers, resulting in enhanced synergy between its companies. The first project on the agenda is to offer 24.com content via MXit, which we see as yet another value-added offer for our users,” he says.
“It’s been a phenomenal journey so far and we’re still gaining ground and speed yet MXit is barely out of its infancy. We have seen and learnt things we never expected to. What’s next? 10-million of course,” Heunis adds.