As a platform, Mxit seems to be evolving. In the last year it has expanded the user experience by opening up its API and allowing third-party developers to build apps for the mobile social network.
In December a third-party developer quietly launched Tweetr on Mxit, an app that allows users to browse tweets from Twitter’s mobile site without the need for a Twitter account.
“The decision to incorporate twitter into Mxit was a simple one. I knew there was demand for these two content segments and if we simplified accessibility to the content (that users are already searching for) on a client millions users in Africa log into every day, then we could help introduce certain price sensitive users in Africa (in terms of data charges) to Twitter and, in effect, open a new user base to the social network,” says app creator Jeeten Bhoora.
According to the app developer, users can add the app as a contact on Mxit and then browse for channels that are of interest to them. The channels work as categories, such as comedians, facts and quotes, football teams and religion. The tweets that appear on Mxit are updated every 20 minutes from chosen Twitter handles. Users with Twitter accounts can reply, retweet or simply email from the app.
Bhoora chose to launch the app with aggregated tweets built into category specific channels “to make it easier for first time users to navigate and get a feel for what Twitter is about”. He says that the fit for Twitter on Mxit made perfect sense as the platform already had a reputation for delivering content in a cheap and efficient manner.
The app, which was built in five days, has caught the attention of Mxit’s Kickstart programme.
“As part of the Kickstart Programme, Mxit will be promoting the app and improving its discovery on the platform,” says Andy Volk, VP of developer relations at Mxit.
The Kickstart Programme was launched last year to give independent developers who build apps for Mxit free promotion.
Volk reckons this app is a great example of how Mxit is an open platform that allows developers to innovate.
“I am quite proud to see someone bring Twitter onto the platform,” he adds.
Bhoora will monetise Tweetr through Mxit’s advertising network Shinka, which will generate more revenue as the app user base grows.