When it comes to instant messaging, long gone are the days of SMS, Yahoo Messenger and the venerable MSN Messenger your only choices. Not even AOL stood the test of time in the face of WhatsApp and Facebook. The web of the early 2000s was an interesting time, and the landscape was very, very different. Yahoo however, are looking to become relevant again, and since ex-Googler Marissa Mayer took over as CEO, the company has doubled-down on mobile and pushed new ventures like the News Digest app and the Yahoo Tech website. Now, they'e taking on Snapchat and WhatsApp…in the same app.
Yahoo's new Livetext app does things a little differently, as it offers the live video of Snapchat, but without the sound. All video from the Livetext app is silent. Instead – and this is where the WhatsApp part comes in – friends are asked to constantly keep typing to talk. What Yahoo have in mind is something like the viewer asking "What's the view like?" and then being shown said view, but for the Snapchat generation, who have been raised on Vines (where the audio is key to a good delivery), the lack of sound might not work for them. Still, for those more reserved, or those areas full of background noise, Yahoo's quieter venture should work wonders.
As of writing, the app was incompatible with a number of my devices (including a Moto X, Nexus 9 and Xperia Z3+) so we're not sure if the app is still undergoing a staged rollout, but Yahoo have said that the app will be available outside of the US. Either way, it's available to take a look in the Play Store below, and is of course a completely free download. As Yahoo say in their promotional material, Livetext is perfect for those moments when 'you can't speak' and this could, just maybe, introduce the younger generation to the arduous task of having to tap multiple keys one after another to form a coherent sentence. We doubt it will do much for their use of the English language, however.