South African mobile social network, Mxit, has appointed Francois Swart as its CEO. Swart has been the acting CEO since October 2012.

Shareholder Paul Harris comments: “Francois has been the de facto CEO for almost a year now and has the respect and trust of his management team, staff and the shareholders. This comes from proactively leading and transforming the business to what it is today. Mxit is in a great position right now and this is in part due to the leadership he has displayed.”

“It’s an exciting time to be leading Mxit,” says Swart. “The mobile landscape is a very dynamic and competitive space, much more so now than when Mxit first entered the market. What we have lacked in the past is a strong smart phone presence. But that is changing. Over the last year we’ve refined our strategy to respond to the changing environment and to re-focus on what we’re really good at, and what our users love about the platform.

“South Africans spend more time on Mxit than any other social network,” Swart adds. “It was ‘born’ around about the same time as Facebook, and long before Whatsapp, BBM or WeChat. Mxit has been the chosen chat platform for the South African youth for the last eight years and it still is. We have an incredible technology platform and handle roughly the same volume of messages as Twitter does worldwide. I am immensely proud of what the team has built.

“Our top priority over the next few months is to show the business community what a powerful platform Mxit is to reach the youth of South Africa,” he adds. “There is nothing else like it. Whether you want to build a communityor advertise Mxit has proven to be highly effective and we are breaking advertising sales records every month.”

Mxit has concluded a number of brand partnerships since it debuted “Mxit Launch” a free, web-based drag-and-drop app builder. Now, any brand or organisation can build and manage their community on Mxit regardless of their technical expertise. In the last year alone, big brands such as Vodacom, SPAR, BlackBerry, Unilever, Mainstay and KFC have used Mxit Launch and joined the platform.