Johannesburg - South African's largest social network Mxit launched its mobile instant messenger application in India, the company said on Wednesday.

“The South African mobile social network has announced the first phase of its expansion for the emerging market with the launch of Mxit in India and the release of Mxit 7 for Android and BlackBerry users,” said Mxit chief executive officer Francois Swart in a statement.

“Available for download across more than 8,000 mobile devices and tablets, Mxit would provide the growing 550 million feature phone users across India with the ability to affordably use their basic data-enabled feature phone like a smartphone, with advanced functionality for chat and accessing apps and games.”

He said the application was both fast and data-light, allowing users with even the basic 2G connection to benefit from an immersive social mobile chat experience, at a much lower cost than the average text message.

“Launching Mxit in India was a natural strategic next step which allows us to continue building on the success we had with the application in South Africa. Expanding our emerging market footprint enables us to bring our innovative technology to the masses, making the smartphone experience affordable to every consumer regardless of the device they use,” said Swart. - Sapa