Yahoo has officially done it -- announcing its Livetext messaging app to the world. Livetext is a brand messaging app that allows mobile users to chat with their friends via text conversations and videos, but without audio.
Almost a couple of weeks ago, the Livetext messaging app was spotted in Apple’s Hong Kong App Store. At the time of the sighting, Yahoo had refrained from confirming or denying the existence of the app, stating only that it was always in the process of exploring new product experiences for its users.
But now, the Livetext messaging app has been finally unveiled officially. During a press event held in New York City, the company conducted a live demonstration of its newest app. In that demo, Arjun Sethi, Senior Director of Product Management at Yahoo, demonstrated how to participate live messaging sessions with friends and colleagues. Sethi only made sure to demonstrate how video sharing is done via the Livetext messaging app. As for the text message conversations, the exchange of words were displayed superimposed over the soundless video.
Initiating chat conversations through the Livetext messaging app is pretty straightforward, but in order for it to work, participants of the conversation must first agree to become friends with each other. Once they become friends, conversations can be initiated by either of the participants. Once the other user joins in on the conversation, the video automatically starts to appear. In case a user starts a Livetext conversation to another user who is unavailable, that other user will be able to receive the text messages but the conversation will not come with a live video.
For now, the Livetext messaging app can only facilitate conversations between a couple of users. But Sethi is quick to note that group conversations will eventually be incorporated in the future, although he admits that it will not be soon.
But some people may be left wondering -- why no sound? According to Adam Cahan, senior director of video, design and emerging products at Yahoo, most people are reluctant to use live video sharing because they feel like they need to make an appointment every time, which kind of brings some unneeded pressure. But with the absence of audio, Cahan is saying that the experience is made more simple and convenient -- you can start video sessions even if you are in a noisy room, inside a car, out on the street, or when riding a train.
Also, Cahan believes that Livetext is actually more like text messaging than video calling. But instead of just exchanging text messages, users are able to witness in real time the reactions of the persons they are texting with. Sure, emojis are cool and all, but you users would still have to type their emoji reactions. With Livetext, users get the real emotional reaction, instead of a cute but proxy graphic.
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