By 2012, 1 billion people are expected to use mobile social networking, said eMarketer. There are more than 4 billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide; of these, there are 1.7 million in Asia, 460 million in Latin America, and 376 million in sub-Saharan Africa.

Mobile-software developer Myriad Group on Monday launched Myriad Updates, a text-based social networking service designed to make mobile social networking, instant messaging, and email accessible to mobile phone users who do not have a data subscription, without the need to download or install an application.

Myriad has shipped over 3.7 billion software applications on more than 2.2 billion phones. Myriad’s Xumii platform is the first of its kind to enable operators to offer social networking services over USSD and SMS, creating new opportunities to reach an untapped market of over 4 billion consumers worldwide.

Using short codes through any mobile phone, subscribers who have no access to data can now connect to their favorite social networks, and stay in touch with their friends on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Flickr via Myriad Updates.

The Xumii platform aggregates the most popular social networks into one single, operator-branded environment and enables subscribers to stay connected to these social networks without a data subscription and no need to download or install an application.