Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mobile language preferences by users on MXit


One of the projects that we are collaborating with is the Red MXit information service offering HIV info to users in different languages. This project is currently be managed by Cell-Life and the idea is to give access to information on the MXit platform. The user have to add the service on the MXit profile as a buddy and can view information in 4 of the official South African languages (SA have 11 official languages - See table on the right for language distribution during 2001 census) and in the text (mobile) language. It was interesting to see (High level observations) which of these languages are the most popular amongst our users using this service. Red gave the user the following language options:

- English
- MXit Chat
- Afrikaans
- Sesotho
- Zulu

The number of subscribers to this service is 22,003 of which 62% is male subscribers. The age groups for this service support the MXit demographics with 76% of the subscribers being between the ages of 15-25. The same content was available in all the language options for the user and the following was the language preferences (estimates based on overview of available users count) ranked:

1) English was the most popular choice with approximately 60% of users accessing content
2) Chat Language (MXi Chat) had approximately 25% of users
3) Afrikaans had approximately 10% of the users accessing content
4) Zulu content was accessed by approximately 3% of users
5 Sesotho content was accessed by approximately 2% of users

Although Zulu has the highest number of home language speakers in South Africa in only managed 4th on the list of available languages with the English language proving to be the most popular with the current group of subscribers. Interesting observation in the above list is the MXit chat or chat language that was more popular than Afrikaans, Zulu, Sesotho combined (These languages presenting more than 45% of the South African population).

Perhaps more should be done to see how the chat language can be integrated as part of mobile service delivery with the increase of mobile users being comfortable communicating using it as its language of choice.

To add this contact on MXit:
- Go to Tradepost
- Select MXit Mix
- Select My Culture option
- Select Red
- Add Contact

This service is available 24 hours a day. Your feedback would be welcomed.

1 comment:

Wilson said...

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Wilson

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