Yahoo is taking another shot at the messenger market, this time with an odd app called Livetext, currently available only for iOS in Hong Kong.
We may live in a mobile-driven world now, but there was a time when people did their online messaging on the desktop, and Yahoo Messenger was at the top of the game. Mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger and many others, however, are now far more popular than Yahoo Messenger.
Nevertheless, Yahoo is now looking to try again with a new messenger app called Livetext, as TechCrunch first noticed. The app is available only in the Hong Kong iTunes Store for now, and it's an odd combination of mute video and text.
"Welcome to Livetext for iOS, the most natural way to have REAL conversations. It's live video texting, without sound. You will feel like your friends are right there with you," touted the app description on iTunes.
In other words, Yahoo apparently feels that the most natural way to communicate with someone is attaching mute video to your text. Basically, for it to feel like a real conversation the other person has to watch you type, based on the logic of Livetext.
Yahoo notes that we've lost the natural flow of conversation somewhere along the way, and its Livetext app aims to go back to the basics, focusing on words and real-time reactions. Audio is apparently "rarely convenient in today's fast-paced world," Yahoo adds, so there's no need for it.
The app requires an Internet connection, be it wireless or mobile data, and allows users to communicate with friends one-on-one. Texting a friend will initiate a conversation and the video will start when the recipient enters the conversation as well. From there on, simply type you thoughts into the app's text box and your words will pop up on the screen over the video.
It remains unclear for now whether the app will see a wider release worldwide or it will continue to be available for Hong Kong only. If the app does make it in the U.S. and other global markets, however, Yahoo will likely make an official announcement. For now, iOS users in Hong Kong can download Livetext as a free app to try out this mute video texting combo.