Mxit is a free instant messaging application developed by Mxit Lifestyle, in South Africa. It runs on multiple mobile and computing platforms. Along with its own standard protocol, it can connect to Yahoo, ICQ, Google Talk, Facebook, AIM, or Windows Live Messenger contacts as well.
Founded in 2005 by Namibian-born software developer Herman Heunis, Mxit has grown from an instant messaging application into a global mobile social network.Within just eight to nine months, Mxit reached 500,000 users and particularly targeted the approximately 610 million Africans who use “feature phones”. The mobile network claims to have nearly 10 million users in the country, making it South Africa’s most popular social media platform by far, eclipsing Facebook’s six million users and Twitter’s 1.1 million subscribers.
The application was originally written in Java, but evolved into an instant messaging app to keep things simple. Mxit allows users to send and receive one-on-one text and multimedia messages to and from other users, and in general chat rooms. It also supports gateways to other instant messaging platforms such as MSN Messenger, ICQ, and Google Talk. MXit does not charge for one-on-one messages though mobile operators may charge for data usage. There are also a number of pay-services, including chatrooms.