South African Social News Round Up – laaikit vs muti

2008 May 11
tags: ,
by Ismail Dhorat


laaikit the new kid in the social news/bookmarking space by News24 was launched late last year. They have all the typical features you would expect for a social news site such as voting up/down and comments. The categories under which sites can be classified are exactly like the news24 site. So how does it match up to muti?


  • The default view shows ‘upcoming’ links, this promotes new content
  • Submissions are split by different categories, allowing you to narrow down on what you want
  • Allow you to see what’s popular for a specific time period

— Negatives

  • Registration is cumbersome with 12 required fields which includes things like your home language.
  • The site has actually been developed by news24 which runs one of the most visited web sites in South Africa this puts other sites that submit to laaikit at a disadvantage.
  • I doubt other media companies would actually link there since this would be directing traffic to their competitor.


Muti was the first social news site catering for South Africa and has been around since 2006. Growth and voting on the site seems to have increased recently as well.

++ Positives

  • Registration is simple and only takes only a few seconds.
  • Manual Submission is quick and easy as well.
  • Lets anyone edit the tags on submissions, allowing irrelevant tags to be removed and new ones added.
  • You can follow muti via twitter which lets you see all new submissions in real time. You can receive the updates anywhere such as IM, the Twitter web site and even SMS if it’s really that important.
  • Mobile Version launched

— Negatives

  • Susceptible to spam with registration & submission
  • Without categories browsing through the information is difficult, you only have tags & search to work with

The Verdict

muti is still the king of the hill, unfortunately the cumbersome registration is a deal breaker for laaikit. Add that to the fact that the site is owned by News24 and branded as such it will discourage other media companies from using it.

muti also has a unique feature called ‘hooks’ which allows anyone to interface with the site, however it is not clear how a registered user could access this service. We see other sites like Mixx launching API’s as well while muti’s hooks were released way back in 2006. The possibilities are endless with hooks, you could set it up to be alerted via email/twitter/sms anytime a particular keyword is used. This feature alone sets it apart from the 100’s of sites out there and i have yet to see any other site that offers this.

* Since laakit is still in beta, i will revisit the topic if the site that is launched is significantly different from the beta version.

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