South Africa’s pioneering chat app, Mxit, has officially closed its doors – with the app nolonger functioning for users.
Mxit announced that its corporate operations would shut down in October 2015, but said that the app would remain available for download and use.
Now, a year later, the chat app which rode the instant messaging wave before the likes of BlackBerry Messenger and WhatsApp took off with the advent of smartphones, is no more.
As of 30 September 2016, users can no longer use the app to chat to their contacts, or access any of the content they had previously shared on the platform.
While the app is still available for download, users can no longer log in, or sign up for a new account.
The chat platform was a popular choice among South African teens and twenty-somethings when it entered the pre-smartphone era in 2005, but fell victim to the rise of intense competition from international offerings such as WhatsApp and Facebook.
In 2013, Mxit reported that its monthly active user base was 7.5 million – but this figure dropped to just 1.2 million monthly active users in July 2015.
WhatsApp, however, has continued to move from strength to strength in South Africa, with user numbers well over 10 million, and Vodacom South Africa reporting that it is is by far the biggest instant messaging platform in the country.