What do MXit users want?
At Maxxor we’ve been developing games for the MXit platform for more than two years now. To date, we’ve entertained well in excess of one-million MXit users with at least one of our apps. Our most popular game by far, is Moonbase. But other Maxxor titles like Glamour Girl and Bubble Blast continue to attract new and different players.
During this time we’ve also learned a great deal about MXit users. What stands out the most is that they’re an incredibly active bunch of people, who get really excited and enthusiastic about new Mxit apps to engage with. Moonbase still adds more than 1,000 new users every day, and the app generates about 8-million daily page impressions, without us spending a cent on marketing!
One of the things we’re asking ourselves is, “What apps, besides games, do MXit users want?” So we ran a survey amongst our players and received an overwhelming response – almost 30,000 people completed a 30-question survey. Thirty questions? You heard it right! That must be some kind of world record for mobile research, and the results offered us some unique insights we’d like to share with you.
First off, who is our audience on MXit? Given we’re a mobile gaming operator, our demographic leans quite heavily towards male (about 75%), which is quite different to the overall MXit user base (that’s closer to a 50/50 gender split). Our players are also a little younger than the MXit average, most of them are between 14 and 21. Yet although often perceived as a youth market, our MXit kids are now growing up fast and they continue to use MXit as they enter university and the job market. Like the MXit audience overall, almost all our players are from South Africa.
What phones are they using? As you might expect, Nokia and Samsung handsets rule the roost, but it is interesting to note that 11% of our MXit users are BlackBerry owners. This flies in the face of some speculation that BBM growth has been at MXit’s expense. Go figure!
What do MXit users do with their phones when they’re not on MXit? Well, not surprisingly, they surf the web on their phones. A lot! Almost 75% of our surveyed users access the web at least once a day and nearly half are browsing on their phones several times a day. MXit is no longer the “walled garden” it used to be, able to keep its users captive for long periods of time. MXit has now become one more part of a wider internet experience for mobile phone users.
By contrast, mobile email doesn’t seem to have caught on in a big way. Even though MXit offers a free email service as part of its core application, 34% of respondents never use email on their phones at all, and only 21% do so more than once a day. Email is clearly not the preferred tool for mobile communication compared to the way it has evolved for PC internet users.
The $64,000 question is: what apps do MXit users want? Although we explored this question in detail, the high-level findings can be presented quite simply:
Amazingly, as our survey shows, MXit users don’t really care what is happening in the world. What they do care about is: hooking up, having fun, and finding out what their fave celeb had for breakfast. Thankfully, a handful of them do have an interest in getting an education. But to appeal to this unique market, you’ve got to have something that amuses, entertains, and finds them some love. And as our parents used to say about us, “Oh the youth of today…”
The good news about MXit users is: they don’t mind paying for apps as long as you give them exactly what they want. And sometimes that means teaching them exactly what they need. In our experience, a significantly higher percentage of players actually pay for games on MXit compared to other mobile social networks. This is precisely because MXit has spent years carefully grooming its users to buy virtual goods with virtual currency, which is made even easier by easily converting mobile phone airtime into virtual currency. However, it is still interesting to note that when we asked how users would “prefer” to pay for mobile apps, 40% said they wanted “something other than airtime” (but only a meagre 1.6% want to use credit cards). Hint: can anyone spell the word “opportunity”?
As passionate and dedicated developers of MXit apps, Maxxor’s experience so far has been very positive. Our audience is extremely active and wide open to new ideas and challenges. It seems the signs are crystal clear as to what sorts of MXit experiences they want to see emerging from the skunkworks. The road ahead for us is also clear – it’s time to get coding.
Mxit is Africa’s largest mobile social network with over 40 millions users. Maxxor’s flagship game, Moonbase was launched on Mxit in 2010 and has remained the most successful game on Mxit ever since. Maxxor offers social media development services to help brands to communicate with and to interact with their consumers on Mxit, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. Contact us for assistance in creating entertaining and engaging social network applications.