Welcome to the “Republic” of Mxit

Alan Knott-Craig Jr, the chief executive officer of Africa’s top social networking site Mxit, has made it clear that he believes their home is Africa. Looking at the recently released demographics and statistics as at the end of August 2012, you would be tempted to further stretch that phrase, that perhaps Mxit is slowly becoming a republic, albeit virtual, in Africa.

With a total of 9.6 million users worldwide (as reported by Mxit on 29 August 2012), it has more “people” than countries such as Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana, but what makes it a “country” is not the amount of people but rather its ecosystem per se.

Take for instance that it has a virtual currency, Mxit Moola, which can be used to buy games, music, skins and wallpapers on the Mxit platform or even to enter Mxit Chat Zones. It operates in a similar way a real-world currency would, that is, to trade within Mxit you need to use its currency.

In terms of regional split of its users in South Africa, the bulk, 60.87 percent, are from the Gauteng Province with the Western Cape in second, 17.44 percent, and Kwazulu-Natal in third with 16.34 percent of users.

Although most of the users are based in South Africa, Mxit boasts of some 512,000 active users over the 12-week reporting period outside South Africa. With these users following a similar statistical trend of South African users with the majority (57 percent) being in the 18 to 25 age group.

Below is the numbers in a bit more detail (South Africa users):

- Gender: Of the total users, 53 percent are male and 47 percent are female
- Age Group Breakdown:
* 13 to14 is 5 percent with 48 percent male and 52 percent female
* 15 to 17 is 19 percent, with 19 percent male and 51 percent female
* 18 to 25 is 54 percent with 54 percent male and 46 percent female
* 26 to 35 is 15 percent with 55 percent male and 45 percent female
* 36 to 45 is 3 percent with 50 percent male and 50 percent female
* 46+ is 4 percent with 55 percent male and 45 percent female

Some fascinating Mxit numbers:
- 750 Million: the total number of messages sent on Mxit per day.
- 10 percent of the active users are spenders.
- 85 minutes: the average time spent on Mxit in a week by a user.

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