Yahoo’s New Livetext Messenger Combines Video and Texting

Yahoo is taking another stab at messaging with a new mobile messenger app called Livetext. The app, which will be available for download for Android and iOS starting Thursday, combines short video clips without sound with text messages.

“We see video as a way to make your conversations more authentic, and we see text as a way to connect that’s quick and non-intrusive,” said Yahoo’s senior product management director Arjun Sethi in a blog post.

Yahoo has been testing Livetext in a few smaller markets for a couple of weeks, and is now bringing the app to the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Germany and France. The app was built in part by the team behind MessageMe, a mobile messaging app that Yahoo acquired last October.

Messaging is a crowded space, where upstarts like Snapchat compete against heavyweights like Facebook with its 700 million monthly active Facebook Messenger users.

Still, Livetext’s core proposition is interesting: Mobile users increasingly consume video in public spaces, where it’s challenging to listen to audio, which is one reason Facebook’s muted videos are so successful. Silent video messaging appeals to this behavior as well, and could help attract users that have grown up with animated Gif images and texting as key parts of their online experience.

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