South Africa holds the bragging rights for having the first mobile messenger in the entire world, Mxit. The app was launched back in 2005 and marked the start of empowering millennial with the ability to communicate with each other through one of the most cost-effective ways at the time.
Mxit has been in operation for close to 10 years now, but it has been anything from a smooth ride. Within the last three years, the social network has carried out quite an extensive commercial innovation and marketing in a bid to increase its popularity. It can be said the social network managed to establish a considerable users’ base in markets such as Nigeria, South Africa and India.
However, the competition from other bigger social networks, which are also offshore social networks gave Mxit a fierce run for its money. These social networks include Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp among others
Mxit has decided to donate all its IP and technology assets to The Reach Trust (an independent Public Benefit Organization that was initially formed to improve people’s lives through the Mxit platform).
Francois Swart, the outgoing CEO at Mxit, said the following in a statement: “While Mxit overall has seen a decline in activity and engagement over the past 18 months, the use of survives offered by The Reach Trust on Mxit has been stable and in many cases show an upward trend.”
The latest stats indicate that Mxit has about 100 million registered users globally. In just 2014, the social network recorded 17 million unique app downloads. Now that the Mxit infrastructure and IP have been donated to The Reach Trust, they will be used change the lives of over 10 million users.
About The Reach Trust
The Reach Trust is targeting to improve the lives of about 10 million people by giving them free services via their mobile phones. The company prides itself in changing lives through their life-enhancing education programs, discreet SMS-based counselling session, and other daily activities geared towards stimulating mental and physical development.
The Reach Trust will rely on Mxit features like messaging services and publishing framework to maintain users’ engagements. There are about 500,000 learners on the platform, and Mxit platform will continue to sustain their learning program further into the future.
The Reach Trust is also looking to partner with other social networks like Facebook’s Internet.org. Although currently it has a working relationship with WeChat. The company’s primary focus for the next 12 months is to provide education throughout South Africa.
Andre Rudge, the CEO at The Reach Trust in a statement said: “With the power of mobile technology in the hands of almost everyone in the country, we believe that it is critical to extend and expand the access to mobile content and services to accelerate social and economic change.”