Mxit Takes Lead, Integrates Market Research With Mobile App

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Written by Kimberly Jacobs

“He is a great guy with a wealth of experience who led a South African-based bank to be the most innovative bank in the world,” Swart said about Jordaan. “We can learn from his experience and knowledge. His role is to assist me and to assist with strategy and international expansion.”

Connecting Advertisers with Users

The company has maintained and grown in capacity during all of the changes over the years because of its one-of-a-kind approach to connecting users with each other, advertisers and market research. The one-on-one chat, group chats, and public chat rooms allow content to be catered to users on the free app.

Mxit Reach, a mobile service supporting non-profits allows access to users interested in education, community, and healthcare. Some of the resources Mxit Reach promotes (via apps) are study tools for students, counseling, HIV/AIDS awareness and literacy. Social partners and educational institutions host content on this platform.

The content leads to advertisements, market research with Pondering Panda, and Mxit Reach for social development — which can at best be described as apps inside of the app.

“[Its] richer in functionality than WhatsApp, but more focused and less cluttered than Facebook,” Swart explained.

Mxit and Pondering Panda

Another successful partnership Mxit has is with Pondering Panda, a market research company, which has been able to survey over 4 million people using the mobile app.

“They are the major platform we use to conduct our market research when we talk to young people and engage with them,” said Johan van der Merwe, Pondering Panda spokesperson.

Posing questions on Mxit, the company prides itself in making user engagement fun and interesting. Pondering Panda’s response from Mxit users is so great that they don’t have to seek many other platforms to get the information they need.

“The Mxit base is so big and engaged that we haven’t needed to push really hard in other bases we can leverage,” said Merwe.

Extensive user engagement is not only good for market research, but also advertisement. Some of the largest global companies advertise with Mxit such as Coca-Cola, Kotex, and KFC. They’ve made it easy — through Mxit Launch — for companies to reach users with a web-based drag-and-drop app builder. Mxit brings in additional revenue from its users through Moola.

Although the app is free, Mxit’s virtual currency Moola allows users to purchase emoticons, sticker, skin, and gifts.

“We do not charge for the utility of chat but we charge micro amounts for entertainment or for personalizing your phone,” Swart added.

The simplicity of being able to access and use the mobile app has pushed Mxit past Facebook and Twitter while using its popularity to make a social difference with Mxit Reach. Only time will tell if other mobile based apps in Africa will follow suit in popularity, connecting its users through an easy to use, cost effective approach.