Yahoo’s new messaging app wasn’t widely discussed when it first launched earlier this month because, at the time, it was exclusive to Hong Kong and Taiwan, but now that the app has expanded to a handful of Western nations, it’s about time to take a look at it. Known as Livetext, this rather unique approach to messaging focuses on video chats where the audio has been disabled so that users can only communicate through text, and that’s not even the most interesting feature.
Earlier this month, Yahoo quietly launched its video messaging app Livetext in Hong Kong and Taiwan. In a press event today, the company unveiled the app for download in the US, Canada, Germany, France and the UK. Livetext is Yahoo’s attempt at reviving its Messenger app, this time with a focus around livestreamed video – so much so that not even sound is included in the clips. It’s Yahoo’s play on audioless GIFs that are often used to react to things on the Web. Yahoo even did a market research with teens to ask them for an experience they’re missing from other messaging apps. The videos can only be shared one-to-one, not groups. You can also add text on top of the video to give it context in lieu of sound. Think of it as Skype without sound, allowing you to communicate with friends without disturbing those around you. The free app doesn’t require you to “call” friends; you can send a video message and you’ll see a notification upon their response. When the conversation is over, the chat history is gone along with the video.