Mxit declares that archrival WhatsApp is no threat

Leading African instant messaging platform Mxit has said that competitor WhatsApp is not a threat to its operations as they operate in different niches.

Africa has witnessed a dramatic rise in social networking sites and instant messaging platforms which, according to experts, might soon saturate the continent’s cyberspace. Peter Matthaei, head of product development at Mxit, however, explained to IT News Africa that the two platforms are different.

According to Matthaei, WhatsApp is a pure messaging platform, a utility to let people send push messages to each other without having to use potentially expensive SMS. This is different from Mxit as “Mxit is about meeting people, or communities that form around topics or activities of mutual interest.”

Matthaei admits that other instant mobile communication services and platforms like WhatsApp and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) have forced Mxit to up their game and get their messaging and marketing right.

“I don’t believe WhatsApp and Mxit are playing the same game, and there’s definitely space for different services. WhatsApp and Facebook co-exist happily, and users tend to use both, for different purposes. But it does mean we – Mxit – need to be clear about our value to users,” he said.

Matthaei explained that Mxit has found a niche and caters for its local market in South Africa and other parts of Africa, adding that the heart of Mxit is chat. For this reason, he said that the company is making a lot of effort to improve chat experiences for their customers.

“We’ve got a whole bunch of innovative features which we’ll be launching over the coming months,” he said.

He did not disclose the details on the innovative features that will follow, but said that they were now focused on providing tools for communities to use Mxit to connect with each other around common interests, such as a company wishing to connect with its staff.

However, many observers are keen to see how Mxit intends to deliver these ‘innovative features’ after HumanIPO broke the story of Alan Knott-Craig Jnr stepping down as CEO of Mxit, citing shareholder differences.

Posted in: Startups

Latest headlines

Latest by Category

Tweets about "humanipo"