Yahoo on Wednesday unveiled Livetext, a new mobile application allowing users to exchange live video, text and emoticons, without audio. "Every platform shift leads to new forms of communication, driven by our desire to connect and interact in richer ways," said Adam Cahan, Senior Vice President of Video, Design, and Emerging Products. "We wanted to create a new way to communicate, blending the simplicity of texting with the emotion and immediacy of live video, to make your experience spontaneous and real."
Yahoo Livetext is a new way to stay in touch 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.
Yahoo is rolling out Yahoo Livetext globally, beginning with Hong Kong, Taiwan and Ireland. Tomorrow (July 30) Yahoo Livetext will be available in the App Store and Google Play Store in five new countries - U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany and France.
With the new app, Yahoo is trying to capitalize on the growing popularity of mobile tools like WhatsApp and Snapchat.
Facebook's WhatsApp has attracted about 800 million users after being acquired for about $22 billion. Snapchat, which specializes in ephemeral messages, earlier this year raised $537.6 million in a sale of common stock, with the funding round valuing the messaging startup at about $16 billion. Yahoo was said to be close to investing in Snapchat last year.