Vodacom, the largest mobile operator in South Africa, says that BBM is the top messaging platform on its network, followed by Mxit and WhatsApp. However, WhatsApp should not be discounted.
WhatsApp is the fastest growing mobile messaging system on the Vodacom network, and it is expected to exceed BBM and Mxit’s user numbers within months if the current growth trend continues.
Mike Fairon, GM for product innovation and development at MTN SA, said that WhatsApp is proving to be the most popular messaging service in SA due to the app being agnostic across most OS platforms, extending the users’ reach to their social communities.
Recent research from World Wide Worx MD, Arthur Goldstuck, confirmed Vodacom and MTN’s feedback. Goldstuck said that WhatsApp has become the leading instant messaging tool among South Africans aged 16 and over, living in cities and towns, with a user base of 4.6 million.
Mxit remains popular
According to Goldstuck, Mxit, which has a very strong presense in the youth market, currently has 9.35 million users in South Africa.
Mike Fairon, GM for product innovation and development at MTN SA, said that Mxit remains popular in the youth and emerging segment, and offers an alternative to SMS for feature type phone users.