MXit has been sold to Word of Avatar with a rumoured price tag of R500 million. Don’t think we’ll ever know what it really went for, maybe future financial results released by Naspers will give everyone a clearer indication of the exact amount. Alan Knott Craig Junior (AKC) will be taking over the reigns from Herman Heunis who is now taking a well deserved break. Is MXit worth the money? Alistair Fairweather asks on M&G today. There are 2 sides to the ‘is MXit worth it?’ argument of which Tyler Reed has a more glass-half-full perspective and I agree with both of them on some statements.
On TechCentral AKC mentions that there is an opportunity for MXit to get their ducks in a row.
Here are list of things I believe MXit needs to or should do to get their ducks in a row…
A real MXit API, not just an SDK
Since MXit announced the launch of their
API SDK it gave those who code in .NET as part of their day job for big corporates something to do. Can anyone point me to real innovation in the mobile and web space that does not have it’s foundations in the open source and open standards space? If you know of any feel free to comment below. I believe the first duck MXit needs to line up is the open and freely available API that would really push MXit to it’s limits. Yes MXit are concerned about their users’ safety and should continue along that path of vetting every app before allowing to play nicely with MXit. See how I didn’t uses any word longer than three syllables there?
Flip the MXit advertising funnel
As far as I know MXit is actually 2 companies: South Africa & International. I may be wrong here but this quote from AKC during his interview with Alec Hogg makes me wonder:
ALEC HOGG: But is it profitable though? Does it make money or not?
ALAN KNOTT-CRAIG JNR: MXit South Africa makes money.
Why would he say MXit South Africa is profitable if MXit is global with users in 120+ countries? I’ll tell you why? Many Advertising/Marketing decision makers in South Africa who decide where the money gets spent are still living in the Don Draper era where the way you feel about spending money is more important than the actual data. The same reason only big brands locally have prolonged campaigns on MXit: MXit advertising is damn expensive (the last time i checked) and there are many agencies big and small who have made killings by obfuscating the “How to Advertise on MXit” process.
AKC please please please simplify this process ala-Google Adwords. You have more demographic data about your users, even more than the mobile service providers (Vodacom, MTN, Cell C) including age, gender, location and.. and.. and all the other personal info at your fingertips. That’s because your users feel as if they have a relationship with you thanks to very very intelligently written sales-copy throughout the MXit ecosystem that makes users feel as if they’re simply chatting to Joe Banker, Tradepost and the various other bots that make the experience awesome. I sense an infusion of highly targeted, location-specific ads infused into the various conversations. These could be run by companies of all sizes who only need to reach 100 of your users to be a success instead of the big brand big budget blanket campaigns targeting everyone who logs in with a splash screen. You’re probably working on that already, right?
This will be part one in a series of articles where Your Web AddiCT will just throw ideas out there about things MXit could do to achieve greatness in Africa and the wwworld beyond.
What do you think MXit can do to change things for the better?