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MXit lifts off beyond IM

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At the end of last month, MXit revamped the look and functionality of its mobile social network.

MXit, Africa’s largest instant messenger and mobile social network, took a bold step to reinvent its look and functionality at the end of June. In the first week, more than 1.1 million users downloaded the new-look version and daily registrations of new users on MXit increased by 25% to 60 000 new registrations per day.

The reinvention of the mobile social network is in line with its vision to become a global leader in the mobile space.

It includes a completely new look, search functionality that allows users to find and manage contacts, services and applications within MXit and a ‚friends’ navigation feature that allows a user to see more detailed information about their contacts.

‚People that don’t use MXit still think of it as an instant messaging platform, and although we will always retain that feature because of its enormous value to our users, we are proud to say that the evolution of MXit over the last 5 or so years has culminated in it becoming a serious player in the global social networking space,‚ says Juan du Toit, head of international business development and marketing for MXit.

The new changes, set in motion by the company’s innovation team almost 18 months ago, brings an additional layer to the spectrum of features that over 37 million users currently enjoy.

This is the first step in the mobile social network’s journey to global leadership and will be followed by a number of new innovations that will distinguish it from all other global social networks over the next 12 months.

The new look is fresh and crisp and delivers to users a social framework that will position MXit at the head of the next wave of innovation in the global social networking market.

As with all its prior versions, safety is central to the reinvented MXit. The company has included a number of new security measures, including allowing users to manage their privacy settings by enabling or disabling their profiles in public searches.

MXit has more than tripled its community of users in the last 2 years and believes that the reinvented version, called MXit V6, will appeal to both its loyal South African market and to a global base of users.

MXit V6 has also been designed to extend the capability and ease-of-use for external programmers who develop products and services for the MXit community.

Features that make it a fully-integrated mobile social network:

Besides popular one-to-one and group chat features, MXit’s suite of services and applications include:

· Email facilities that allow users to create and use email from their mobile phones.

· Entertainment features such as interactive games, music and mobile phone application downloads, sport, news and weather updates and competitions and questionnaires.

· A classified section, called MXit Xchange, which is used by over 18.5 million MXit users. The inventory is refreshed every 7 days to keep content relevant and fresh.

· The platform also features MXit Cares, which offers users free real-time advice and counseling on anything from drug and substance abuse to counseling users on HIV/Aids, debt counseling, career guidance and so forth. It works with agencies like Childline, Cell-Life and RLabs to bring professional counseling to its users.

· On the educational front, MXit Cares has teamed up a number of professional educators to provide a host of online tutorials, quizzes and information that help national learners navigate subjects like Maths, Physical Science and Life Sciences.

· MXit V6 allows users to search for friends using their name, email or telephone number.

· It also allows users to find friends by uploading their telephone book contacts.

MXit facts:

· MXit has over 39 million registered users

· Available in 120 countries.

· MXit attracts between 55 000 and 60 000 new registrations per day.

¬∑ Every day, around 700 million messages are sent and received on MXit ‚ this is 3.9 times more messages than the total amount of Tweets sent around the world per day

· Over 29 million messages are sent and received on MXit per hour.

· Over 486 000 messages are sent and received on MXit per second.

· In South Africa, MXit is significantly bigger than Facebook and Twitter combined.

· Well over 47% of MXit users are between the ages of 19 and 26.

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