Yahoo is making a first step in the messaging world, with the launch of LiveText for iOS and Android. The app will be available in North America and Europe, following a brief test in Hong Kong and Taiwan last month.
The messaging app is similar to Snapchat, with an image or video and superimposed text. When video streaming is unavailable, LiveText will offer a text only option. Interestingly, the video will be silent, meaning no audio playback between the two recipients.
Both users need to have LiveText accounts and there is no Tumblr or Yahoo account integration. This is something we didn’t expect, since Yahoo has been working on bringing all of its services under one umbrella account, similar to Google.
LiveText doesn’t have any group chat functionality yet. Yahoo has not said if it plans to add group chat functionality. Reports earlier in the year said Yahoo was working on two communication apps, LiveText appears to be the one-to-one app, while there is another group chat app still in development.
The live video app follows in the footsteps of Periscope as well, where anyone can broadcast video to friends or fans and reply to chat. Yahoo’s LiveText is a private version of that, with one-to-one conversations.
Yahoo seems to be going down the route of Facebook or Google, creating applications that have no current revenue, in the hopes that users will continue to use the platform and invest at a later date.
Things like emojis, themes and other in-app purchases have become commonplace in communication apps. We would suspect Yahoo is planning to use the same in-app purchases on LiveText.