Yahoo Announces Livetext, A Silent Video Chat App

If you think your app marketplace of choice is oversaturated with messaging apps, fear not, a new messaging app is on its way. But Livetext does not include an audio component, so you can only communicate via typed messages, or perhaps hand signals.


Livetext is available for iOS and Android starting with Hong Kong, Taiwan and Ireland and then UK, US, Canada, Germany and France. The tech giant hopes it will prove a worthy rival to WhatsApp, Snapchat and others.

Yahoo’s latest messaging app, called Livetext, lets users see the person they are texting through its silent video feature.

As Facebook, Google, Tencent and WhatsApp introduced mobile chat apps and gained hundreds of millions of users, Yahoo floundered in its attempts to update its Yahoo Messenger service, designed a generation ago.

The combination of video and text makes it hard to compare it directly to any other popular messaging service out there.

The executive began by sharing video footage back-and-forth with his friends and co-workers; they showed off their surroundings and made faces, to make potential consumers realize a fuller range of human expression derived from the service.

While there’s no limit on how long Livetext conversations can last, the app may be more useful for shorter, more utilitarian conversations when a text message would suffice but live video could add necessary context.

To explain the reason behind the lack of audio, Yahoo’s senior vice president of mobile and emerging product Adam Cahan elaborated on his own experiences, where he said he barely talks on the phone or listens to his voicemail.

Yahoo says, users often misunderstand texts so take hours to respond, while telephone conversations require a relatively quiet environment.


“People would say to us that video chat is very formal”. However, both parties need to agree to a friend request before a connection is made between users in the app. With this, the company aims to make a comeback after the demise of its earlier Yahoo Messenger, but with an innovative solution.

Yahoo! Inc. Debuts Livetext App For Silent Video Messaging