Mxit shuts up shop

Mxit, a local social network and, in fact, the first social platform to introduce South Africans to instant messaging, shocked many when it announced recently that it is shutting down its commercial operations and donating its intellectual property and technology assets (in their entirety) to independent public benefit organisation, The Reach Trust.

According to Mxit, its monthly active user base has dropped significantly in recent months. In 2013, Mxit reported an active user base of 7.5 million per year. By July this year, the figure has dropped to just 1.2 million monthly active users.

Mxit CEO, Francois Swart, said in a statement:

"Whilst Mxit overall has seen a decline in activity and engagement over the past 18 months, the use of services offered by The Reach Trust on Mxit has been stable and in many cases show an upward trend."

The Reach Trust, which provides free services such as text-based counselling and education initiatives, is reportedly excited about the prospects of the app, and has a number of education projects planned for the coming year. According to Mxit, more than half a million learners access educational apps on the Mxit platform each month.

As part of the change Mxit will also be exiting its India and Nigeria businesses. The Mxit app will still be available for public download.

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