Facebook has so many members, 900 million at last count, that subscriber growth increases have been, predictably, declining. That’s what happens when just about everyone who is going to use your service already has it. Honestly, there are worse problems to have.
Still, Facebook would absolutely like to expand into new territories, and it may have just found the perfect way to do it, despite the lack of smartphones and good data connections.
Facebook has teamed up with Myriad Group to bring its services to unexplored markets, it was announced Wednesday
Myriad, which develops services for feature phones, has been chosen by Celcom in Malaysia, Indosat in Indonesia and Mobilyin Saudia Arabia to bring social mobile messaging services to 70 million users through its text-based Myriad Updates service.
The partnership between Facebook and Myriad is mutually benefitial. Myriad brings Facebook to millions of new users, while Facebook helps Myriad to more effectively capitalize on these three new markets.
Facebook is in need of new subscribers, as growth has been slowing for the past few years.
From April to November 2009, the rate of growth was at seven users per second, while from November 2009 to July 2010, it slowed slightly to 6.96 per second. Then in the period between July to March 2011, growth increased to 8.39 per second. That growth levelled out again from March to September 2011, growing at 7.02 users per second. After that things slowed down considerably. From September to December 2011, users joined Facebook at only five per second.
According to Myriad, there are three billion low-end phones in the world, mostly in Asia, Africa and Latin America. These are phones that are either too slow, or too old, to have data plans, and would, therefore, be unable to access Facebook. Now, Facebook will have access to them through Myriad Updates.
“Our successful partnerships with Tier 1 carriers such as Telefónica in Latin America, Vodafone in India and Orange in Africa, combined with recent operator wins across Asia and the Middle East, as well as our innovative teamwork with Facebook, all mark yet another key milestone for Myriad as we continue to aggressively grow our global footprint and reinforce our market dominance as a mobile social powerhouse,” Simon Wilkinson, CEO of Myriad Group, said in a statement.
Zurich, Switzerland-based Myriad Group was founded in 2001 and raised $14.5 million in venture capital funding in October 2007, in a round led by Sofinnova Partners in Paris, Earlybird in Munich and Partners Group in Zurich.
Myriad software is used by 2.5 billion people worldwide, often by people who live in areas where they have never before used the Internet.
Facebook and Myriad Group could not be reached for comment
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