Yahoo Launches New Messaging App to Compete With WhatsApp and Snapchat

30 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Introducing Yahoo Livetext – A New Way to Connect.

Having decided to refocus its brand on mobile and video after losing ground in the search engine market, Yahoo unveiled its new messing app, Livetext, on Wednesday. “We wanted to find that new and expressive way of communicating,” Yahoo! senior vice-president Adam Cahan said at a New York media event for the app called Livetext.Yahoo!’s new Livetext is yet another variation on existing services — Snapchat, Skype, WhatsApp and FaceTime to name a few — that allow users to send some combination of text and live video through their smartphones. “Audio is the one sensory input that makes everything public,” said Adam Cahan, Yahoo’s SVP of Video, Design and Emerging Products. “It inhibits conversation.” Cahan, who introduced Livetext during an event in Manhattan on Wednesday, included focus-group footage that presented the post-Snapchat generation as the app’s primary target. Yahoo is quite late to the world of mobile messaging, but you’ve got to give it some credit: The new chat service it finally debuted Wednesday sure is different from the rest of them.

Livetext features peer-to-peer text, emoticons and videos, but without audio, making it perfect for communicating with friends who have loud or annoying voices. Interactions, from a goofy smile, to an eye roll and a sigh, mean ‘Lol’ isn’t needed to ensure the meaning of a text message – as real-time reactions are placed at the center of the conversation.

So if Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, Google hangouts, GroupMe, Facetime, iMessage, Skype, Blackberry messenger (yes, it’s back), texting and phone calls aren’t for you, there’s no better time to give Livetext a whirl. Eliminating audio means you can use it anywhere — in a meeting, on a noisy street, during class, on a train. “It’s a new way to communicate: casual text on top of video,” said Arjun Sethi, a senior director of product management at Yahoo and head of the Livetext project. Tomorrow (July 30) Yahoo Livetext will be available in the App Store and Google Play Store in five new countries – U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany and France.

As Facebook, Google, Tencent and WhatsApp introduced mobile chat apps and gained hundreds of millions of users, Yahoo floundered in its attempts to update its Yahoo Messenger service, designed a generation ago. By creating highly personalized experiences for our users, we keep people connected to what matters most to them, across devices and around the world. Yahoo is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and has offices located throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific (APAC) and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions. As Yahoo developed the product, engineers tested it at Ohio State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, and also offered it to groups of high-school students. Cahan said the choice to exclude sound, as odd as it seems, was deliberate. “I can barely ever use a video-chat experience,” he said. “I feel like I need to make an appointment with someone.” Silent video, on the other hand, can be used in almost any situation where text chats are possible, with the added bonus of conveying a person’s emotions and a sense of place.

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