Myriad Group Pact Helps Facebook Address Mobile, Asian Growth Issues

By David Cohen 

When Facebook announced plans to go public, two of the most prominent concerns raised about the social network were its ability to monetize mobile and its prospects for growth in Asia. The deal it reached with Myriad Group, announced Wednesday, took aim at both of those concerns.

Facebook and Myriad Group teamed up on Myriad Updates, a text-based social mobile messaging service aimed at feature phones, or mobile devices that are not smartphones.

Users of feature phones can connect to Facebook via Myriad Updates without the need to purchase data plans, upgrade their devices, or download applications.

Myriad Group also announced that the first three mobile operators that will offer Myriad Updates are Celcom (Malaysia), Indosat (Indonesia), and Mobily (Saudi Arabia). Those three carriers total more than 70 million users.

According to Myriad Group, more than 3 billion low-end mobile phones are currently in use, mostly in emerging markets in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Readers: Do you think Facebook’s agreement with Myriad Group will help it address its mobile and Asian growth issues?