Yesterday Yahoo announced LiveText, its new messaging app, joining a market already crowded with other messaging services like WhatsApp and Snapchat. LiveText is trying to distinguish itself from the competition in one important regard: it will do text and video, but not audio. As their press release states:
Yahoo Livetext is a new way to stay in touch - it's non-intrusive, quick and real-time - yet also fleeting, just like real-life conversations. Interactions, from a goofy smile, to an eye roll and a sigh, mean 'Lol' isn't needed to ensure the meaning of a text message - as real-time reactions are placed at the center of the conversation.
Calling all mimes!
So far the app is available in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany, and France, with global launches in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Ireland.
AdWeek posits that the messaging app will "help users gauge each other's moods and meanings more clearly than plain texting." To me, that sounds a bit like users will add faces and gestures to their words -- in effect, pose as human emojis.
But why no sound? Yahoo noticed that users were afraid to open Snapchats in public for fear of what garbled noise would blare from the phone. Adam Cahn, Yahoo's senior director of video said that when it comes to video messaging, people feel like they "need to make an appointment."
How It Works
At first glance, LiveText borrows from Periscope's text overlay feature, where viewers watching the stream can send their messages and see them pop up right on the video. But on LiveText, the conversation is one to one. When you see a friend online, you can tap on their icon and start a silent (secret, if you want, say if you're stuck in a meeting) stream where your typed messages float over the video. You can do emojis, of course.
Watch a demo, here: