Yahoo held a press conference today in New York City to introduce a new messaging app called Livetext, which the company claims "bridges the gap" between the fleeting casualness of text messaging with the intimacy of video calling. The app lets users host live video conversations with each other, but one with catch: the videos do not have any sound. Instead, users can type text over the live video, a gimmick Yahoo says makes the app less rigid than traditional video messaging.
"For us, we want to make sure there's no inhibition" to answer incoming messages, Yahoo SVP of Video, Design, and Emerging Products Adam Cahan said at the press conference.
As for why Yahoo decided to release a messaging app in a world utterly dominated by the likes of Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, and WhatsApp, Cahan said people use "lots of different communication tools," and that people tend to use those "in very different ways." Cahan said Livetext offers the company a chance to find a new niche in the field of mobile communications.
The app will be released tomorrow in the US (it soft launched in select parts of Asia earlier this month) for Android and iOS.